Sadananda Gowda is Opposition leader in the Upper House

The former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who had led the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Assembly poll campaign, was on Tuesday unanimously elected its legislature party leader. Similarly, another former Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda was unanimously elected Leader of the Opposition in the Upper House.

The former Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok and MLC K.B. Shanappa were chosen deputy leaders of the party in the Assembly and Council respectively.

The election of the new leaders was conducted at the legislature party meeting held in Bangalore in the presence of party former national president Nitin Gadkari, state in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan and State president Pralhad Joshi. Before the election, the choice of leaders was finalised at a meeting of the party’s core committee, which is the apex decision making body.

The choice of the leaders in both the Houses has indicated that the BJP wants to stick to its strategy of wooing dominant communities, especially the Lingayat community ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Earlier there was a feeling in the party circles that the defeat in the Assembly polls may lead to the promotion of a second-line leader as legislature party leader in the Assembly. However, the party finally decided to stick to the caste balance.

The BJP legislature party leader’s post is not that much attractive in the Assembly as the party has not got the principal Opposition status since it has been pushed to a poor third position on the basis of vote share though its tally of 40 seats equalled that of the Janata Dal (Secular). However, in the Council the party’s influence still continues as it has got a comfortable majority there.

Soon after his election, Mr. Shettar told the newly elected legislators that they had to work in such a way as an Opposition party as to inspire their cadre and workers after the disappointing defeat in the Assembly polls so that the party could put up an impressive performance in the Lok Sabha elections.

Mr. Gowda termed the defeat in the Assembly polls as a temporary setback and called upon the party legislators to dedicate themselves to working creatively as an Opposition. “We must put up a good show as an Opposition party,” he said.

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