Karnataka BJP MLAs likely to elect new CM tonight, transition to be smooth
Bengaluru, July 27: The BJP MLAs in Karnataka would meet tonight to elect a new Chief Minister.
A meeting of the party legislators will be held at a private hotel to pick a new leader after B S Yediyurappa resigned as CM on Monday. This comes after the BJP parliamentary board held a meeting in New Delhi earlier today.
The central leadership will convey through emissaries who will replace BSY in the state. The party wants to ensure that the transition is smooth one.
The BJP would keep in mind that the leader who would be CM when the state faces an election in 2023 will have to have the blessings of Yediyurappa. The central leadership would be sending Union Minister, Dharmender Pradhan to Karnataka to oversee the change of guard.
The party would keep in mind the strong Lingayat vote bank while choosing a successor. BSY is keen on retaining the Lingayat leadership within his family. In case his son B Y Vijayendra is not accommodated now, then Yediyurappa would insist on a non-Lingayat leader.
Some of the names that are doing the rounds now are that of C T Ravi, Dr. Ashwath Narayan, Prahlad Joshi, Basavaraj Bommai, Arvind Bellad and Murgesh Nirani.
The question being asked is will the BJP go with another Lingayat leader considering the clout the community has in the state.
The name of Bommai who is close to Yediyurappa is doing the rounds. He is from the Lingayat community which also would suit the BJP in its electoral prospects.
Dr. Ashwath Narayan who is from the Vokkaliga community is also in the race for the post. He is a doctor by qualification and is seen as an educated leaders who has a good image in the political circles as well as the state.
Ravi on the other hand is a four time MLA is is close to the BJP's top brass. He is also from the Vokkaliga community and is backed by the Sangh.
Joshi is a Brahmin and his name too has been doing the rounds. Joshi was the president of the party when BSY had quit the BJP in 2013. While he has been considered to be an able administrator, the question is will Karnataka have its first Brahmin chief minister since 1998.
Bellad is young and a two time MLA. He is the son of veteran RSS leader Chandrakant Bellad. He is 51 years old and was in the news recently when he alleged that his phone was being tapped by the state government.
Nirani is also a contender and is from the Panchamshali sect in the Lingayat community. There is a strong demand from this community to make him the next CM. Nirani started his public life in the RSS in 1990 and is considered to be close to the top leadership.