Who will be new Karnataka CM? BS Yediyurappa’s exit triggers wave of speculation – Here are the top frontrunners

By: |
July 26, 2021 3:52 PM

Newly-appointed Governor of the state, Thawarchand Gehlot, accepted his resignation, a Raj Bhavan statement said, adding that the council of ministers stood dissolved.

While the BJP high command is yet to pick up a name for Karnataka's top post, many names are doing rounds as the the likely picks for the post.

Bharatiya Janata Party veteran and one of its most known faces in southern India, BS Yediyurappa, today tendered his resignation as Karnataka Chief Minister, ending weeks of speculation over his continuance on the post. Newly-appointed Governor of the state, Thawarchand Gehlot, accepted his resignation, a Raj Bhavan statement said, adding that the council of ministers stood dissolved. This means the new CM will have to pick up his council of ministers as well. While the BJP high command is yet to pick up a name for Karnataka’s top post, many names are doing rounds as the the likely picks for the post. According to The Indian Express, the party may go for a number of deputy CM posts in order to set the caste equation right in the state.

While Yediyurappa hails from the strong Lingayat community, the central leadership is looking beyond a Lingayat face. The BJP will also reportedly be sending an observer to the state to discuss the matter. Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda held a meeting in which BJP’s Karnataka in-charge Arun Singh also participated. Here are the list of some front runners for the post:

Murugesh Nirani

The 56 years old BJP leader, Murugesh Nirani, comes from the Panchamshali sect which is the largest in the Lingayat community. He was the Minister for Mines and Geology. The sect has been demanding for quite some time that a leader from their community be made the chief minister. He is a three-time MLA from the Bilgi constituency. Nirani had arrived in Delhi last night and was scheduled to meet the party leaders today.

Arvind Bellad

A two-time MLA from Hubli-Dharwad west, Arvind Bellad is the son of veteran RSS and BJP leader Chandrakant Bellad. He has done engineering from SDM College of Engineering in Dharwad and a PGDM in business management from INSEAD in France. Bellad hails from the Panchamasali Lingayat sect.

Basavaraj Bommai

Basavaraj Bommai, the outgoing home minister of Karnataka and a close aide of Yediyurappa, Bommai also hails from the Lingayat community. His name has been doing rounds as a replacement of BSY for a long time now.

CN Ashwath Narayan

Ashwath Narayan was the deputy of BSY and comes from the Vokkaliga community. The 52-year-old doctor is seen as a young and educated leader with a good political image. He has been winning from Malleshwaram Bengaluru since 2008. Reportedly, he was one of the leaders involved in the poaching of MLAs from Congress and JD(S).

CT Ravi

BJP national general secretary CT Ravi, like Narayan, also comes from the Vokkaliga community. The 54-year-old leader had served as a cabinet minister in the Yediyurappa government. he is a four-time MLA from Chikkmagaluru and known as a Hindutva hardliner.

Pralhad Joshi

Union minister of coal, mines and parliamentary affairs Pralhad Joshi is a four-time MP from Dharwad. He is a Brahmin face known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the RSS as well. If he is appointed as the CM, he will have to get elected to the state’s assembly as either an MLA or an MLC within six months of taking charge.

B L Santhosh

BJP national organising secretary BL Santhosh is also said to be in the race. A full-time RSS volunteer from Karnataka, Santhosh is a powerful figure in Karnataka politics.

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