Buckling under B S Yeddyurappa's pressure, BJP today decided to replace Sadananda Gowda with Jagdish Shettar as Chief Minister of Karnataka marking the second change in the state in 11 months.
The decision was taken at the BJP core group meeting here today, sources said.
Shettar, a Lingayat leader, who is the Rural Development Minister, is the choice for the top post of Yeddyurappa, who is calling the shots in Karnataka BJP even after his unceremonious exit as Chief Minister last year. He will be the third BJP Chief Minister in the state in four years since the party came to power there in 2008.
After the core group meeting, BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad said that Gowda will come to Delhi this evening and will be meeting party chief Nitin Gadkari, L K Advani and other leaders.
"A decision will be announced after that," Prasad told reporters.
Gowda took over from Yeddyurappa in August last year.
Yeddyurappa, who was removed as Chief Minister last year in wake of corruption allegations against him, has been insisting for some time now that Gowda should be replaced with his close associate Shettar.
However, Gowda, who fell out with the Yeddyurappa camp had pleaded with the party that it should not take any decision in "haste" and sought to assert that he has strived to give a corruption-free administration in the last 11 months, after he was appointed as Chief Minister.
With this change of guard, the political history witnessed in Karnataka from 1989 to 1994 of having three Chief Ministers in a span of five years has had a repeat.
Congress, which returned to power with a massive mandate in the state in 1989, replaced Veerendra Patil with S Bangarappa. Veerappa Moily replaced Bangarappa following heightened dissidence against him. In the assembly polls held in 1994, Janata Dal trounced Congress.