Jagadish Shettar- Will he deliver ?

Pic: Samay Live

The last time he was in contention to become the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Jagadish Shettar through his office had even sent a couple of his portfolio shots to news paper offices thinking that it may be used when he takes over as Karnataka Chief Minister. Sadly that was not to be for him. However now after much arm twisting and after moving into the B S Yeddyurappa camp, Jagadish Shivappa Shettar has finally been made the Chief Minister of Karnataka replacing Sadananda Gowda.
Shettar is infact the third CM that the BJP has seen in its four year tenure after it had created history by winning the elections in Karnataka and installing the first ever BJP government in South India.
Shettar who is the strongman for the BJP in North Karnataka was born in December 17 1955, Kerur village of Badami Taluk in Bagalkot district, Karnataka. An advocate by profession he was born to S S Shettar and Basavanemma. Politics was not new to Shettar as his father was an active member of the Jan Sangh and was elected 5 times to the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation. His father also became the first Jan Sangh Mayor of Hubli-Dharwad. His uncle Sadashiv Shettar was the first Jan Sangh leader in the South to get elected to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly from Hubli City in 1967.
Shettar who is married to Shilpa has two children Prashanth and Sankalp. He practiced law for 2 decades before calling it quits. Shettar tryst with poltics commenced when he joined the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. Later on he became an active member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. In 1990, he became the President of Hubli Rural Unit of the BJP and in 1994, the Dharwad District Unit President of the party. He was elected to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly for the first time in 1994 and has been reelected as Member of the Legislative Assembly from Hubli rural constituency for four successive terms. In 1996, he became the BJP State Secretary and in 1999, he was chosen as the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly following the defeat of the BJP in the state elections. Shettar was the Leader of Opposition when S.M. Krishna was the Chief minister.
In 2005, he was appointed as the state president of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Later, he went on to become the Revenue Minister in the JD(S)-BJP coalition government headed by HD Kumaraswamy in 2006.
His troubles within the BJP began when the party was elected in the year 2008 and formed the government with B S Yeddyurappa as the Chief Minister. It was the clash of the Lingayats and Yeddyurappa did all he could to ensure that Shettar did not snatch away the Lingayat base from him. When the cabinet was formed in the year 2008, Shettar was left out and made the Speaker instead. He took it as an insult and thought that he was intentionally being retired from active politics. However after much coaxing from the seniors in the party he accepted the post, A year later he resigned as speaker only to take charge as minister for Rural development and Panchayat Raj.
Shettar remained a very quiet leader. However during the earlier days of rebellion which were led by the Reddy brother or a Renukacharya, Shettar always identified with the anti Yeddyurappa faction. When the Reddy’s led the coup against Yeddyurappa they had proposed the name of Shettar. However fate eluded him and the issue was resolved.
When the Lokayukta report on illegal mining forced Yeddyurappa out of his chair, it was Shettar’s name which was being proposed. The BJP was split two ways- the Yeddyurappa and the Shettar faction. Shettar expected that he would be made the Chief Minister as he was the senior most after Yeddyurappa in the party. However Yeddyurappa who was clearly upset with him being forced out of power wanted to ensure that no other Lingayat leader replaced him. Yeddyurappa wanted to be the sole leader of the Lingayats and allowing Shettar to take over only meant that his support base would dwindle.
It then came down to the numbers game and the BJP was left to vote for the next CM. Yeddyurappa had proposed the name of Sadananda Gowda while the rival faction put up Shettar. However Yeddyurappa managed the numbers and installed Gowda as the CM. This honeymoon between Yeddyurappa and Gowda lasted only a couple of months. Gowda did not tow the line that Yeddyurappa told him to. Yeddyurappa also realized that the rival faction was becoming stronger and it is then that he decided to hold talks with Shettar and assured that he would be made the CM. Shettar too realized that it was Yeddyurappa who had the numbers and joined him. The result of this alliance was that Shettar finally lived his dream of becoming the Chief Minister of Karnataka after many many attempts.


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