Bangalore: With Karnataka BJP strongman and foe-turned-friend BS Yeddyurappa on his side, and the caste factor working in his favour, 57-year-old Jagadish Shivappa Shettar had things going for him this time, particularly when the Assembly elections are less than a year away.
The scene today is in sharp contrast to the one seen in August last year when Mr Yeddyurappa, not in a position to digest the rise of a fellow Lingayat leader, backed DV Sadananda Gowda, who belongs to the Vokkaliga community.
Eleven months later, it was role reversal of sorts. The powerful Yeddyurappa faction wanted Mr Gowda to step down, after things did not go as they planned. The incumbent Chief Minister chose to come out of their shadow.
Mr Shettar lost to Mr Gowda in the election at the legislature party meeting last year and ironically, the latter today had to pave the way for him to step into his shoes.
The BJP central leadership appeared to have been convinced by Yeddyurappa camp's contention that the party needs to fight the Assembly election, due in May next year, under a Lingayat leader, clinching the issue in favour of Mr Shettar.
The BJP counts Lingayats, a majority community, as its main vote bank in the state. It also believes north Karnataka is its stronghold, a region where Mr Shettar himself comes from. Both these factors did the trick for Mr Shettar, who is expected to take oath as the new chief minister of Karnataka on July 12.