For many, former Karnataka Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Jagadish Shettar’s announcement that he will not join Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s new cabinet of ministers came as no surprise.
Yes, in the new scenario, Shiggaon MLA Basavaraj Bommai was chosen as the state’s new chief minister when BS Yediyurappa stepped down from the post, leaving no place for Shettar to become a minister in the new government, as he had previously served as chief minister.
When he was named to BS Yediyurappa’s cabinet, questions were raised. Then he was questioned why he was joining the government as a minister when he had already served in the higher office (CM), to which he replied, “I have no qualms about joining the cabinet as a minister under CM Yediyurappa as he is senior to me.”
According to party insiders, Shettar is relatively senior to Bommai and cannot repeat the same words that he has no qualms about joining the government under Bommai.
Shettar told reporters that his choice not to join the government was purely personal. And it has nothing to do with the viral audio clip purportedly involving party president Nalin Kumar Kateel.
According to party sources, Shettar’s political career in the state is limited now that he has opted out of the government. One alternative is to work for the party until the next Assembly election and, if the party does well in the Assembly elections, to wait for another chance to become CM.
Another possibility is that he might become governor of a state if he indicated a desire and the high command consented. Alternatively, he might become a Rajya Sabha member from a state and enter the central cabinet, which would be difficult. “It would have been a prudent move if Shettar had run for the Lok Sabha seat in Belagavi,” stated the sources.
According to the sources, the former chief minister does not have many choices in state politics right now, and he, like BS Yediyurappa, did not nurture his son’s political career.