BENGALURU : Former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar called on Union Home Minister Amit Shah, just a few hours after Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai left New Delhi — without meeting Shah — giving rise to much speculation. However, party sources termed it a courtesy call, while Shettar clarified that the meeting was limited to discussing the political scenario of the state.
In fact, Shettar along with Sugar Minister Shankar Patil Munenakoppa went to New Delhi much before Bommai did, and camped there for over four days. They called on Shah on Thursday evening. In a one-on-one meeting that lasted about 20 minutes, the duo discussed the political scenario in Karnataka and preparations for the next assembly polls.
“When Shah arrived in Karnataka for the core committee meeting, I couldn’t meet him personally, and he had invited leaders who wanted to talk about the political scenario to call on him in New Delhi. After the Parliament session was adjourned, I met Shah,” Shettar told TNIE.
Asked whether he was lobbying for any post, he categorically denied it, saying they had discussed the political scenario following several events in Karnataka, and the BJP’s position. He also claimed to have discussed the party’s organisation, and steps to be taken to retain power.
Shettar, the 66-year-old Lingayat leader who succeeded D V Sadananda Gowda as chief minister from July 2012 to May 2013, was known for calling on the party high command at every crucial juncture. His visit to New Delhi in February 2022, when there was speculation about the Bommai cabinet rejig, had set off talk too.He was Large and Medium Industries Minister in the B S Yediyurappa cabinet, between August 2019 and July 2021, but did not join the Bommai cabinet.
As a Lingayat leader, he is quite influential in parts of Karnataka, especially Hubballi-Dharwad, and has the backing of several religious heads. Shettar recently visited Jangamwadi Mutt in Varanasi and called on the religious head, Dr Chandrashekara Shivacharya Swami. PM Narendra Modi also used to visit the Mutt.