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Rediff.com  » News » Shettar finally lives his chief-ministerial dream

Shettar finally lives his chief-ministerial dream

July 08, 2012 14:57 IST

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 newspaper offices thinking that it may be used when he takes over the coveted post. Sadly that was not to be for him.

However, now after much arm twisting and moving into the B S Yeddyurappa camp, Jagadish Shivappa Shettar has finally been made the chief minister of Karnataka replacing Sadananda Gowda.

Shettar is in fact the third CM that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has seen in its four year tenure after it had created history by installing the first ever BJP government in South India.

Shettar, who is the strongman for the BJP in North Karnataka, was born on December 17 1955, at Kerur village of Badami Taluk in Bagalkot district.

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 five 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 two decades before calling it quits.

Shettar's tryst with politics 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 MLA 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, Shettar was appointed as the state president of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Later, he went on to become the revenue minister in the Janata Dal-Secular-BJP coalition government headed by H D 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 2008, Shettar was left out and made the speaker instead. He took it as an insult and thought that he was intentionally being pushed away 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 brothers or a Renukacharya, Shettar always identified with the anti-Yeddyurappa faction.

When the Reddys-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 seniormost 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.

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 realised that the rival faction was becoming stronger and it was then that he decided to hold talks with Shettar and assured that he would be made the next CM.

Shettar too realised that it was Yeddyurappa who had the numbers and joined his bloc. The result of this alliance was that Shettar finally lived his dream of becoming the chief minister of Karnataka after several failed attempts.

Image: Jagadish Shettar

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