Soft-spoken Jagdish Shettar, who took oath as the Karnataka Chief Minister on Thursday replacing Sadananda Gowda, will be seen as a proxy chief minister of B S Yeddyurappa who picked him as the first among the loyalists to take over the reigns of the southern state that in its four-year-long BJP rule saw three chief ministers.
The B S Yeddyurappa aide has been a Rural and Panchayati Raj Minister of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled Karnataka and when last year Sadananda Gowda was chosen as the chief minister of the state, his name had also cropped up.
Like Yeddyurappa, Shettar belongs to the dominating Lingayat community and political circles said caste factor also played a role in his selection as the CM replacing Gowda, who belongs to the Vokkaliga community.
Shettar will, however, preside over a BJP government that is riven by infighting, allegations of corruption and the ever presence shadow of Yeddyurappa.
Shettar was born on Dec 17, 1955 in Kerur village of Badami Taluk in Bagalkote district of Karnataka. His father S S Shettar was a senior member of the erstwhile Jana Sangh and was elected five times to the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation and became the first Jana Sangh Mayor of Hubli-Dharwad.
His uncle Sadashiv Shettar was the first Jana Sangh leader in the South to get elected to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly from Hubli City in 1967.
Shettar holds BCom and LLB degrees and practised law for 20 years at the Hubli Bar. He and his wife Shilpa have two sons - Prashant and Sankalp.
Shettar began his political career with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and became an active Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member.
In 1990, he became the President of Hubli Rural Unit of the BJP and in 1994, the Dharwad District Unit President of the party. He was elected to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly for the first time in 1994 and got re-elected from Hubli rural constituency for four successive terms.
In 1996, he became the BJP State Secretary and in 1999, he was chosen as the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly following the defeat of the BJP in the state elections.
Shettar was the Leader of Opposition when S.M. Krishna was the Chief minister.
In 2005, he was appointed as the state president of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
In 2008, following the BJP victory in Karnataka assembly elections, Shettar was elected as the Speaker of the Karnataka legislative assembly. However, he resigned from this post in 2009 and was inducted in to the cabinet of B.S. Yeddyurappa as minister for Rural development and Panchayat Raj.
In 2011, when B.S. Yeddyurappa had to resign, Shettar emerged as a major contender to the post of Chief Minister but Gowda was finally chosen.
He had called the selection of Gowda then a semi-final match of cricket. On July 12, 2012, Shettar finally won a final and was crowned the chief minister.