BJP legislative party to meet today to decide on Karnataka's next CM

Updated on Jul 27, 2021 01:52 PM IST

The meeting will see Union minister of education Dharmendra Pradhan and minister of development of northeastern region of India G Kishen Reddy in attendance as observers, according to people aware of the developments.

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa announced his resignation from CM post. (PTI)
Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa announced his resignation from CM post. (PTI)
By | Edited by Arpan Rai, New Delhi

A day after BS Yediyurappa stepped down as Karnataka chief minister, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's legislative party is set to meet and finalise the name of the state's next CM.

The meeting will see Union minister of education Dharmendra Pradhan and minister of development of northeastern region of India G Kishen Reddy in attendance as observers, according to people aware of the developments.

Senior party leaders told HT that list of probables for the chief minister's post includes contenders like Union minister Pralhad Joshi, BJP national general secretary CT Ravi, national organising secretary BL Santhosh and assembly speaker Vishveshwar Hegde Kageri. Joshi, Santosh and Kageri are Brahmins; Ravi, the MLA from Chikkamagaluru, is a Vokkaliga, Karnataka’s second-largest community concentrated in southern Karnataka, where the party is trying to make inroads.

Names like mining minister Murugesh Nirani, industries minister Jagadish Shettar and MLAs Arvind Bellad and Basanagouda Patil Yatnal have also surfaced if the party plans to give Yediyurappa's seat to another leader from the dominant Veerashaiva-Lingayat community, which has not taken the exit of Yediyurappa kindly.

A politically unlucky Yediyurappa resigned as the chief minister of Karnataka on Monday, bringing the rife speculations of turbulence in BJP's state unit to an end, almost a year before the southern state is set to witness Assembly elections.

The 78-year-old made the announcement in an emotional speech at an event celebrating two years in power before submitting his resignation to governor Thawarchand Gehlot. The four-time chief minister, who battled criticism and public attacks from within his party and cabinet over the past three months, said he quit “voluntarily” and thanked the BJP.

“I’m not sad. I’m happy. I can’t thank in words PM Modi, Amit Shah, and JP Nadda to let me be the chief minister even though I was over 75 years,” said Yediyurappa. “There is no question of political retirement for any reason, I’m with the karyakartas and the people.”

A Lingayat strongman, Yediyurappa is credited with having built the BJP from the grassroots in the 2000s and leading the party to its first victory in a southern state in 2008. He has pan-state appeal and nurtured the Lingayats -- comprising roughly 16% of Karnataka’s population -- as a reliable vote bank for the BJP. Even in his last days in office, he rallied support from influential Lingayat seers and mutts.

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