BJP chooses former DCM R Ashoka as Leader of Oppn in Karnataka assembly

Bengaluru: The BJP on Friday chose former deputy chief minister R Ashoka as the leader of opposition in the Karnataka Assembly.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, BJP National General Secretary Dushyant Kumar Gautam, BJP state unit President B Y Vijayendra, and former chief ministers B S Yediyurappa and Basavaraj Bommai were among those present at the legislature party meeting, where Ashoka was picked as its leader.

Ashoka, a seven-time BJP MLA, was the deputy chief minister in the BJP government from July 2012 to May 2013.

The senior BJP leader had the opportunity to work with five chief ministers as a cabinet member. As a minister, he had held various portfolios such as home, revenue, municipal administration, transport and health and family welfare.

Ashoka is a prominent Vokkaliga face in the party, which is one of the dominant communities in Karnataka, especially spread in the southern parts of Karnataka such as Bengaluru, Chikkaballapura, Mysuru, Mandya, Chamarajanagar, Ramanagara, Kolar, Tumakuru and Chikkamagaluru.

Last week, the BJP central leadership appointed as its state unit president Shikaripura MLA B Y Vijayendra, the son of BJP strongman B S Yediyurappa, who is a Lingayat — another dominant community of Karnataka.

In the May elections to the 224-member assembly, the Congress ousted the BJP from power with a landslide victory. The Congress secured 135 seats, the BJP 66 and JD(S) 19.

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