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R Ashoka Emerges As BJP Leader In Karnataka Legislative Assembly, Unanimously Chosen By Party Members

The selection of Ashoka marks the resurgence of Yediyurappa's influence within the party, following the appointment of his son Vijayendra as the state chief. The meeting saw unanimous support for Ashoka, with his name proposed by former CM Basavaraj Bommai and seconded by ex-minister V Sunil Kumar.

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Man carrying BJP flag in Jaipur, Rajasthan. (Photo: Tribhuvan Tiwari/Outlook)
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In a significant development, former deputy chief minister and seven-time MLA R Ashoka has been chosen as the BJP leader in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. The decision was made during a BJP Legislature Party meeting, led by the new state president B Y Vijayendra. Ashoka, often referred to as 'Samrat' Ashoka, is a prominent Vokkaliga leader and a key figure in the camp of B S Yediyurappa, The Indian express reported. 

The selection of Ashoka marks the resurgence of Yediyurappa's influence within the party, following the appointment of his son Vijayendra as the state chief. The meeting saw unanimous support for Ashoka, with his name proposed by former CM Basavaraj Bommai and seconded by ex-minister V Sunil Kumar. This decision concludes months of speculation and internal party friction regarding the appointment of the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) after the Assembly polls.

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The BJP's move to appoint Ashoka as the LoP is seen as a strategic one, strengthening the party's alliance with the JD(S) for the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Ashoka's strong ties with the Deve Gowda family, influential Vokkaliga leaders, are expected to play a crucial role in this alliance.

Despite some speculation about the possibility of selecting an OBC leader to garner support, Ashoka's seniority and 35 years of experience in BJP politics prevailed. In his response to the appointment, Ashoka emphasized unity within the party, stating that they would work together to ensure victory in all 28 seats in Karnataka during the Lok Sabha elections.

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While Ashoka's political prowess has been evident in his seven consecutive wins in the Assembly elections, his challenge lies in establishing his standing within the Vokkaliga community. This becomes particularly relevant as the tallest Vokkaliga leader after the Deve Gowdas is perceived to be D K Shivakumar, the current Deputy CM.

In response to Ashoka's appointment, Congress spokesperson Ramesh Babu took a dig, labeling him the "leader of adjustment politics." Babu urged Ashoka to extend his brand of politics beyond the Padmanabhanagar constituency and address the concerns of deprived communities within the BJP.

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