New Delhi: All the speculations have come to rest with Karnataka Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda is most likely to resign on Sunday itself after meeting with BJP President Nitin Gadkari. B S Yeddyurappa's loyalist and Rural Development Minister Jagdish Shettar will take over the reins as the next Chief Minister of the state.

Gowda may become party unit chief

As per the decisions reached at a series of meetings on Saturday, KS Eshwarappa and R Ashok may be made Deputy Chief Ministers. Gowda may be made party unit chief in Karnataka.

Decision taken at BJP's Core Group and Parliamentary Board meetings

The decision to replace Gowda with Shettar, Yeddyurappa's close associate, was taken at BJP's Core Group and Parliamentary Board meetings on Saturday.

59-year-old Gowda, expressed readiness to quit, held marathon discussions with the BJP leadership, including LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arunj Jaitley.

Gowda to meet Gadkari on Sunday

He will meet party President Nitin Gadkari on Sunday after which the decision will be announced. Jaitley said the entire political situation in the state was discussed during over two-and-a-half hour meeting.

"After the Chief Minister meets the party president, whatever the party's Core Group and the Parliamentary Board has discussed and decided, after consultations with the Chief Minister, will be announced tomorrow morning," Jaitley said.

Third CM in four years

Shettar will be the third Chief Minister in four years in Karnataka, the only southern state having BJP government, and his nomination will mark the second change in 11 months.

Gowda, who replaced Yeddyurrappa after the latter was removed in the wake of corruption charges, earlier said he was ready to quit whenever asked by the party high command.

"I have said whatever decision the central leadership takes, I am prepared to accept. That means if they ask me to quit the post, I am prepared. If they ask me to continue, I will continue," he told reporters after reaching here from Bangalore in the afternoon.

Gowda promises cooperation to Shettar

Seemingly unperturbed by the decision to remove him, Gowda said he extend all cooperation to his "good friend" Shettar.

"Shettar is very good friend of mine. He is more senior and more experienced. I will always give him full cooperation to him and if I want to give any suggestion for the betterment (of administration), I will personally visit him and give my suggestions," he told reporters.

Seemingly relaxed, Gowda said that he had strived hard to give corruption-free administration in the state where he was the second Chief Minister in the four-year old BJP Government.

BSY quit following Lokayukta indictment

Yeddyurappa, who was removed unceremoniously last year after being indicted by the Lokayukta in corruption cases against him, has been demanding removal of Gowda and replacing him with his close associate Shettar.

Gowda calls for unity in party

While being ready to quit, Gowda said, "My intention is that we all should remain united and ensure the party's victory in the next Assembly polls....Ultimately, party is important, organisation is important."

Asked whether he would become the president of the party's state unit, he said, "I have no ambitions. I will not demand any position. I would like to remain as an ordinary worker. Party gave me everything. Party gave me Chief Minister's post which I did not demand."

"With the cooperation from all, I strived hard to deliver good administration-- without any scope for corruption," the outgoing Chief Minister said.

Earlier, he said the decision on leadership should not be delayed as the state was reeling under drought.

"Immediately they (party high command) should take decision as 123 talukas are under severe drought and people should not feel that political disturbance in the state is affecting the functioning of the government," he said.

"I want to impress upon my leaders that immediate decision should be taken and whatever it may be, the administration should go on smoothly," Gowda said.

Congress said the change of guard would not help and there should be fresh elections.

(JPN/Agencies)

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