Almost six months after the Congress party wrested power in Karnataka by bagging 135 seats in the 224-member state assembly, the BJP will pick the leader of the opposition, on November 17.
The newly-appointed BJP state president B.Y. Vijayendra, son of former chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa, on Friday, announced that the long-awaited appointment of the LOP would take place during the BJP legislature party meeting to be held next week.
"After my appointment as the state president, I discussed with BJP national president J.P. Nadda ji about the appointment of the LOP. The election of the LOP will be held during the legislature party meeting to be held next Friday. We will seek the opinion of all our MLAs. Two central observers will be in Bengaluru next week to oversee the process," said Vijayendra.
Vijayendra (47), a law graduate, is a first-time MLA from Shikaripura in Shivamogga, which was previously held by his father. In 2008, the party appointed him as the secretary of Bangalore Yuva Morcha. Later, he was made the general secretary of Karnataka BJP Yuva Morcha.
In 2018, Vijayendra was denied a ticket to contest from Varuna in Mysuru. However, he was made the state vice-president in August 2020 after the party won the bypolls in KR Pete and Sira under his leadership. On Friday, Vijayendra replaced Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel as the party president.
After the appointment of Vijayendra, the younger son of Lingayat strongman Yediyurappa as the state party chief, the saffron party is most likely to appoint a non-Lingayat as the LOP to balance out the caste equations and appeal to its larger support base.
Earlier, Vijayendra thanked Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP organisational secretary B.L. Santhosh and other leaders for giving him a "huge responsibility".
"The BJP has scaled great heights due to the hard work of leaders like B.S. Yediyurappa and other senior leaders. At a time when the world is looking towards India and applauding the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, my only goal is to work towards strengthening the party and ensure that the party wins the highest number of seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. I will travel across the state and organise the state," said Vijayendra.