Ending three days of defiance, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa who resigned on Sunday, favoured sitting Lok Sabha MP D.V. Sadananda Gowda as his successor.
After giving anxious moments to party central leadership, which had asked him to step down immediately, 68—year—old Yeddyurappa submitted his his one—line resignation letter to the Governor Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, who immediately accepted it.
Surrounded with over 60 MLAs and ministers loyal to him, Mr. Yeddyurappa addressed the mediapersons outside Raj Bhavan. “We have proposed the name of D.V. Sadananda Gowda as Chief Ministerial candidate,” he told reporters, coming out publicly on his choice of successor over which he had locked horns with the party top brass.
Mr. Gowda, 58, belongs to the dominant Vokkaliga community and fully backed by Mr. Yeddyurappa who wants to make sure that his hold over the party and the government remains strong.
Shortly after submitting his resignation, Mr. Yeddyurappa went into a huddle with senior party leader Arun Jaitley to decide on the successor ahead of a legislature party meeting to elect a new leader.
Mr. Yeddyurappa, who reportedly insisted on being made the State party unit president before he could make way for his successor, said he would abide by whatever decision his party high command takes on his political future.
As the central leaders made frantic efforts to break the logjam, Mr. Yeddyurappa insisted on Udupi—Chikmagalur MP D. V. Sadananda Gowda succeeding him. But the stand—off persisted as speculation was rife that his bete-noire National General Secretary H.N. Ananth Kumar’s name was also being considered.
Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley continued consultations with party top leaders including state unit President K.S. Eswarappa, Mr. Ananth Kumar and legislators to find a successor to Mr. Yeddyurappa and ensure a smooth leadership change.
Sources in the party said the BJP has accepted Mr. Yeddyurappa’s condition that his nominee be named as his successor, but not his demand for appointing him as president of the state unit.
Mr. Rajnath and Mr. Jaitley have already held several round of consultations on the Karnataka crisis with top leaders of the state and elicited opinion of all its legislators since Saturday.