With the dust settling over the leadership issue in Karnataka, the focus is now on government formation under Chief Minister-designate Jagadish Shettar as lobbying for Cabinet berths and key ministries gathered momentum today.
In-charge of BJP Affairs in Karnataka, Dharmendra Pradhan held consultations with outgoing Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda and state unit President K S Eshwarappa even as several Ministers and MLAs also met him at the BJP office here.
Senior central party leaders Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh are slated to arrive here this evening to oversee the legislature party meeting, expected to be held tomorrow or on Wednesday and discuss ministry-formation issues.
Gowda had retained all Ministers of the Yeddyurappa cabinet when he assumed charge in August last year.
Ministerial aspirants had been making a vigorous push in recent weeks for berths, and Gowda is holding some 20 portfolios as he gets ready to demit office. It will be interesting to see if there is a reshuffle and induction of new faces under Shettar.
BJP, sources said, is also weighing the option of having a Deputy Chief Minister, a post for which there is a triangular fight between Eshwarappa, Transport and Home Minister R Ashoka and Kannada and Culture Minister Govind M Karjol.
Karjol, a Dalit leader, is being propped up by the Gowda and anti-Yeddyurappa camps. There is a possibility that BJP might not create a Deputy Chief Minister post after all amid apprehension that it's a recipe for more trouble.
Supporters of Gowda are pushing the party's central leadership to make him State unit President, a move obviously not to the liking of the Yeddyurappa camp.