Former state BJP President DV Sadananda Gowda on Sunday appeared to emerge as key contender to succeed chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, who is believed to have suggested his name to the central leadership.
According to party sources, Yeddyurappa is slated to tender his resignation to the governor HR Bhardwaj any time after 1 pm today, after which his successor is to be elected at a legislature party meeting.
The list of chief ministerial probables included ministers VS Acharya, Jagadish Shettar and Shobha Karandlaje and party general seceratary HN Ananthkumar, but Gowda seems to be ahead of the other contenders, the sources said.
Yeddyurappa met party observers Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh and was closetted with them for some time.
"In Karnataka BJP, brighter days would come with 'Shravana" month starting today," said Gowda, a Lok Sabha member.
It was under Gowda as the state unit President that the BJP rode to power in 2008. The "sympathy factor" after JDS refused to "transfer" power to the BJP under a coalition government helped the latter in no small measure, as also projecting Yeddyurappa, who built the party from scratch over three decades, as the chief ministerial candidate.
Meanwhile, the MLAs lobbying for continuation of Yeddyurappa as chief minister have admitted that their efforts have not succeeded, but insisted they would stand-by him and push for his nominee as the successor.
Yeddyurappa's camp is pushing for making him the state unit president, who would have a key role in distribution of ticket in the next elections, due in May 2013.
Sources in the central BJP, for whom the script didn't go as per plan as Yeddyurappa flexed his muscle in the legislature party for the last three days, said as a chief minister, there is nothing wrong in his giving "suggestions" on his successor.