Yeddyurappa may step aside for a woman CM in Karnataka: Rpt

B S Yeddyurappa
Bangalore, Jul 22: If reports are to be believed, the embattled Chief Minister of Karnataka, B S Yeddyurappa has put in place a succession plan if he ever has to quit his post. And if true, the news can come up as a feminist's delight as it is reported that it could be a woman.

According to speculations doing the round, Yeddyurappa has settled down on the name of his close confidante and Karnataka's energy minister Shobha Karandlaje as his successor. If that really materialises, then she will become the first ever woman chief minister of the state.

Mail Today has quoted anonymous sources from the Chief Minister's close circle as saying, "In the past, Yeddyurappa had told the BJP leaders that the replacement candidate would be of his choice. Any attempt to replace Yeddyurappa by the national leaders without consulting him could spell trouble for the party. Even they are aware of Yeddyurappa's clout in Karnataka."

They were further quoted as saying, "The national leaders know that Yeddyurappa can easily engineer a split in the BJP. They cannot afford to ignore his selection over other senior leaders of the party in the state."

With the Karnataka Lokayukta's reporting indicting Yeddyurappa in the illegal mining scandal of the state, opposition parties have upped the ante seeking his removal from the post. While, at the moment, there seems to be no leader in the ranks of BJP's Karnataka wing, as charismatic as Yeddyurappa, the party may go ahead with his choice.

Shobha Karandlaje, who joined the BJP in 1994, was nominated to the legislative council in 2004 and became the rural development minister in 2008. However, following an objection from the Reddy brothers, she was removed from her post only to be later re-inducted into the cabinet as the energy minister.

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