With caste equations being played to the hilt, Gowda has had to make way for Jagadish Shettar as the very state BJP strongman B S Yeddyurappa, who handpicked him as his successor, claimed his scalp.
After being forced to quit over the illegal mining issue in July last year, Yeddyurappa had opposed Shettar, who was pitted against Gowda in the race for Chief Ministership, but has now coopted Shettar, a fellow Lingayat leader, into his camp.
Gowda, the second leader from coastal part of Karnataka to become Chief Minister after M Veerappa Moily, is from the RSS stable like his predecessor Yeddyurappa and successor Shettar.
His role as state BJP chief in installing the first ever BJP government in the South in 2008 is well acknowledged in political and his own party circles, which also earned him some national prominence.
Despite Gowda and his supporters opposing change of guard as assembly elections are 10 months away, the high command replaced him with Shettar to save its government, tottering under heightened rebellion, marked by the caste factor.
Gowda had steered his government free of any scams in the last 11 months but could not rein in dissidents. His cup of woes overflowed as he tried to come out of the shadow of Yeddyurappa, who is himself battling a spate of corruption charges.
Gowda was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1994 and 1999 from Puttur Assembly seat in Dakshina Kannada. He became Deputy Leader of the Opposition in his second term as MLA.
He was elected to the 14th Lok Sabha in 2004 from Mangalore Lok Sabha seat, defeating Veerappa Moily of the Congress. In 2009, the party shifted him to Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency, which he won and quit after becoming Chief Minister.
He is now member of the legislative council for a short term, which will end by early next year.