The BJP leadership bought peace with B.S. Yeddyurappa, directing Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda to step down and pave the way for the appointment of the rebel leader’s choice Jagadish Shettar in his stead.

Mr. Gowda handed over his resignation to party president Nitin Gadkari here on Sunday morning.

Though Mr. Gadkari said he accepted the resignation, his announcement has no legal sanctity: for the resignation to take effect, the Chief Minister has to submit his letter to Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, and he would do this on his return to Bangalore.

The BJP Legislature Party is expected to meet on Monday to endorse the high command’s decision.

In a departure from norm, Mr. Gadkari said the leadership decided to hand over chief ministership to Mr. Shettar, now Rural Development Minister, hailing from the influential Lingayat community as Mr. Yeddyurappa.

Mr. Yeddyurappa considered Mr. Shettar his political rival when he was Chief Minister.

After he was forced to resign in July last following his indictment in an illegal mining case by the Lokayukta, Mr. Yeddyurappa preferred Mr. Gowda (a Vokkaliga) as his successor.

However, the equations changed as Mr. Gowda began to acquire clout and forced Mr. Yeddyurappa to join hands with Mr. Shettar.

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