All eyes now on Yediyurappas successor: Here are the front-runners
Union minister Pralhad Joshi, said to be close to Modi and Shah, is one of the front-runners to be the next CM

All eyes now on Yediyurappa's successor: Here are the front-runners

The embattled 78-year-old made a sudden visit to Delhi earlier this month where he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior BJP leaders

The much-anticipated exit of BS Yediyurappa as the Karnataka CM on Monday (July 26) appears to have set in motion within the BJP the tried and trusted method of selecting his replacement through caste combinations.

Yediyurappa (78) belongs to the powerful Lingayat community comprising 17 per cent of the population. The community can influence the election outcomes in as many as 35 per cent of Assembly seats. The BJP has come out with a four DCM (deputy CM) formula — Lingayat, Vokkaliga, OBC, and SC/ST — to placate all prominent communities in the state.

Party sources said that among the three incumbents DCMs, in all probability Laxman Suvadi is likely to continue while CN Ashwath Narayan, belonging to the Vokkaliga community could be replaced with former Karnataka CM DV Sadananda Gowda, who is also one of the 12 Union ministers dropped by Prime Minister Modi.

Also read: Yediyurappa, who fathered BJP in Karnataka, now set to take final bow

The BJP has not revealed Yediyurappa’s successor. The party is reportedly hoping to bring about a generational shift in the state leadership.

There are reports that the party could spring a surprise. However, there are three names doing the rounds in the media – Union minister Pralhad Joshi, BJP national general secretary CT Ravi and the party’s organising secretary BL Santosh.

Here’s a brief sketch of the three probables:

Pralhad Joshi: Age: 58 years; Union Minister for Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs. and BJP national general secretary. A Brahmin, he represents Dharwad Lok Sabha constituency since 2004. He has dismissed the speculation about him being the next CM, saying “it is only the media which is discussing the matter.” He also served as the party’s state unit chief from July 2012 to January 2016.

Also read: Yediyurappa’s exit likely to destabilise BJP’s base in Karnataka

CT Ravi: Age: 54 years. He is the BJP’s national general secretary and a four-time MLA from Chikmagalur constituency. Caste: Vokkaliga. His appointment can help the party expand its base in southern Karnataka. “Yediyurappa did a great job. Only time will tell who succeeds him.”

BL Santhosh: Age: Early 50s. Started off as an RSS ‘pracharak.’ He is national general secretary (organization). Caste: Brahmin. He wields a lot of control in Karnataka BJP and within the BJP high command at the centre. Santhosh is known to spot ‘talent’ among his fellow party workers. One such pick is Subramanya’s nephew Tejasvi Surya, MP from Bengaluru South.

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