Over a week ago, former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa had told the media that he would step down from his post of BJP state President if the high command wished it. "I will step down from the state President post if the high command wishes it. But I will continue to serve as Leader of Opposition in the Assembly," Yeddyurappa had said.
Just a few days after he made the statement, a number of BJP leaders are now hoping to bag the post of the state President.
BJP insiders say that Yeddyurappa's unsuccessful attempts in bringing down the coalition had left the high command unhappy. In addition, the party's decisionmakers had begun mulling over bringing in a new leadership in Karnataka after the Lok Sabha polls.
"There is usually an organisational revamp once every three to four years and no office bearer is allowed to hold on to a post permanently. The change in Karnataka leadership is not something the party is thinking about right now since the elections are coming up but it should happen later in the year," the source added.
Aspirants for the chair are now coming forwards and making their requests known to the high command. R Ashoka, a Vokkaliga leader from Bengaluru is trying hard to get the post, insiders say.
However, RSS strongman BL Santosh is said to have recommended Chikkamagalur MLA CT Ravi's name along with names of incumbent Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and local RSS strongman from coastal Karnataka - Sunil Kumar Karkala.
Yeddyurappa, who may vacate his post soon, is rooting for his close associate Umesh Katti's brother Ramesh Katti as he belongs to the Lingayat community. Also in line is Jagadish Shettar, former CM of Karnataka, who also belongs to the Lingayat community.
Several leaders in the party are also demanding that the high command pick a member from the Dalit community as the state President. Leaders Aravind Limbavali and Govind Karjol are also aspiring to obtain the state president's post.
"The high command is leaning towards installing a leader with strong RSS roots this time around. But the party also needs to keep in mind that installing a Brahmin candidate could send a wrong message to the party's vote base - the Lingayat community. Once the polls are done, the high command will look into the caste calculations and decide," the source added.