Bangalore: Jagadish Shettar will be sworn in as Karnataka's Chief Minister on Thursday.
Shettar, who has the backing of former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, will be the third BJP chief minister in the state in four years since the party came to power there in 2008.
Shettar, who was formally elected as the leader of Karnataka BJP legislature party earlier on Tuesday, will meet Governor H.R. Bhardwaj at the Raj Bhavan here to stake his claim to form the next government in the state.
The selection of Shettar as Karnataka's next chief minister can be viewed as a major victory for state BJP strongman Yeddyurappa, who has not been allowed to reclaim the chief minister's chair, as he continues to battle illegal mining charges leveled against him by the Karnataka Lokayukta.
D.V. Sadananda Gowda resigned as state chief minister yesterday after a less than comfortable tenure of eleven months, making way for Shettar.
The takeover, however, was far from smooth, as supporters of Gowda staged protests and demanded appropriate posts for him and other key leaders supporting the outgoing chief minister.
The BJP, which is trying hard to balance caste and community aspirations as it prepares for Assembly elections less than 10 months away, may pacify Gowda by making him the state president of the party.
Ahead of submitting his resignation, Gowda yesterday expressed hope that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) High Command will take into consideration all his demands.
"All of you have given trust in me, I have confidence that all the demands made will be favourably considered by the high command and I want all of you should support," he said.
The BJP's core group met in New Delhi on Saturday to approve BJP President Nitin Gadkari's strategy of resolving the Karnataka crisis by replacing Gowda with Shettar.
The crisis in the Karnataka BJP intensified last week after nine ministers resigned from the State Cabinet, thereby projecting a show of strength in their campaign for ousting Gowda.
The ministers, who quit earlier were Jagadish Shettar (Rural Development), CM Udasi (PWD), Murugesh Nirani (Industries), V Somanna (Housing), Umesh Katti (Agriculture), Basavaraj Bommai (Water Resources), Revu Naik Belamagi (Libraries and Animal Husbandry), M P Renukacharya (Excise) and Raju Gowda (Small Scale Industries)
The ministers, however, withdrew their resignations later following a decision of BJP leadership that there would be a change in chief ministership in the state.