Has the Bharatiya Janata Party high command hinted about leadership change to Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda and the chief ministerial aspirant, Jagadish Shettar?

BJP circles are abuzz with such speculation as Mr. Gowda is believed to have had a telephonic conversation with the central leaders on Friday.

According to sources, Mr. Gowda called Mr. Advani. During the conversation, Mr. Advani hinted that the party leaders in Delhi were thinking of replacing him. While it is not confirmed, sources close to Chief Minister said that Mr. Advani had invited him to Delhi on Saturday.

After the conversation, some of the ministers who were camping at the Chief Minister’s official residence on Friday afternoon went to the residence of Mr. Shettar and congratulated him as a matter of courtesy.

Cabinet meet

Meanwhile, Mr. Gowda is learnt to have confined his discussion at Friday’s Cabinet meeting to only official matters that had been listed on the agenda and desisted from making any political references or comments.

Similarly, ministers from the Yeddyurappa camp too are learnt to have maintained a low profile at the Cabinet meeting.

The countdown for change of guard has begun in the State as the BJP Parliamentary Board is set to meet shortly to formally arrive at a decision to replace Mr. Gowda with Mr. Shettar, sources said.

Soon after the Parliamentary Board’s meeting, party senior leader Arun Jailtley is expected to arrive in Bangalore to complete the formalities of leadership change by holding a legislature party meeting.

As of now the indications are that Mr. Shettar may take oath on Wednesday. However, everybody in the party are waiting for the Parliamentary Board’s meeting.

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