Buckling under mounting pressure from BS Yeddyurappa, the BJP yesterday announced that DV Sadananda Gowda will be replaced as the Karnataka chief minister by Rural Development Minister Jagadish Shettar.
Desperate to prevent a split in the party after Yeddyurappa orchestrated a rebellion demanding Gowda be replaced, the BJP replaced Gowda though he has given a corruption-free administration.
BJP chief Nitin Gadkari justified the move to remove Gowda, saying, “According to the present situation in the state, he (Gowda) has told me that he is resigning from the chief minister’s post. Keeping in mind the future of Karnataka, we have decided to give the leadership to Jagadish Shettar.”
Gadkari said the outgoing chief minister would be given an important role at the central and state levels — in an apparent attempt to ensure that Gowda doesn’t brew a revolt.
The BJP’s decision evoked criticism from the Congress, while BJP ally the JD(U) said Gowda had to be “martyred” because of the presidential polls. Gowda was made to leave without completing a year. He took over from Yeddyurappa on August 4 last year.
The Congress termed the change of leadership in the BJP government in Karnataka as a “victory of corruption”. “Corrupt people were against Gowda and BJP leaders would have been exposed,” said Congress General Secretary BK Hariprasad.
The JD(U) also criticised the development, saying outgoing chief minister Gowda had been “martyred”. JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said that Gowda had to be martyred because of the presidential polls.