Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief Sharad Yadav on Sunday took a jibe at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the political impasse in Karnataka, saying Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda had been martyred because of the July 19 presidential election.
"In this country, such situations arise every now and then and the people who say that there is no casteism, then what is happening in Karnataka? This is the truth. The nation does not even openly discuss this and big political parties deny the role of castes in their decision, then what is this?" said Yadav.
"Someone had to bear the brunt of the presidential elections, so Sadananda Gowda became the scapegoat. But his party and my party are different. This is an internal matter, but from a political point of view, I believe that the pressure of the presidential elections came on Gowda. He had to sacrifice. Had the elections not taken place now, this would have not happened," he added.
BJP President Nitin Gadkari earlier today confirmed Gowda's resignation, saying the latter has stepped down for the party's welfare.
Lauding Gowda's contribution at different levels within the party, Gadkari said the former would continue to be an important leader of the BJP in Karnataka.
Gadkari further informed that Karnataka's Minister for Rural Development Jagadish Shettar would be the new legislative party leader in the state.
"A change has been made considering the political scenario. We have also made the change taking note of the upcoming assembly polls and the general elections in 2014," he said.
Gadkari said that senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh would be going to Bangalore on Monday to attend a state BJP meeting as observers to sanction Shettar's appointment as Karnataka chief minister.
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.
The announce by the BJP central leadership came after intense parleys at Gadkari's residence, which aimed to take decision to end the ongoing political stalemate in Karnataka.
Gowda, who replaced Yeddyurappa after the latter was removed in the wake of corruption charges, today said the central leadership had taken a decision to change the leadership in his state due to political reasons, but emphasized that he would provide all support to the new leader.
"The incoming chief minister will be given all sorts of co-operation by me. And certainly we will see that once again people of Karnataka will bless us in the next coming elections. I hope that my central leaders will be visiting my state tomorrow, or day after. As soon as they come out there, after the election of new leader, I will be going to submit my resignation," said Gowda.
"I will see that the incoming chief minister will be very happy to carry out his duties in the coming days and I will support him to the best of my ability in Karnataka," he added.
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 Chief Minister 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). (ANI)