New LoP: It’s likely to be a ‘Ravi vs Ravi’ in Council

CT Ravi, who earlier served as minister and national general secretary, is said to be another choice for the party.
The Karnataka Legislative Council
The Karnataka Legislative CouncilFile Photo | Nagaraja Gadekal, EPS

BENGALURU: With the Leader of Opposition in the Upper House Kota Srinivas Poojari being elected MP, the Opposition BJP is finalising fresh names to take his position in the Council. While senior BJP leader and former national general secretary CT Ravi is a contender, another MLC N Ravi Kumar’s name is also doing the rounds.

Poojari, who was Leader of Opposition, won from the Udupi-Chikkamagaluru Lok Sabha seat in the recent Lok Sabha polls. He accordingly resigned from the Council. The BJP is now looking for a strong LoP for the Upper House, who can effectively take on the ruling Congress.

With R Ashoka -- the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly -- being a Vokkaliga, the chances of CT Ravi, also a Vokkaliga, appear to be slim. Meanwhile, Ravi Kumar, who belongs to the OBC community, seems to be a popular choice. With this, the party can claim to have given equal representation to the Vokkaliga and OBC communities in the House, while BJP state president BY Vijayendra is a Lingayat. Also, Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Aravind Bellad, is also a Lingayat.

Speaking to The New Indian Express, a senior BJP leader, on the condition of anonymity, said many leaders and MLCs are keen to make Ravi Kumar the LoP. He has worked towards strengthening the party base and the party high command is keen to make him the Leader of Opposition. The BJP-JDS alliance has more legislators in the House than the Congress. With a full majority government in the state, there is pressure on the saffron party to have a strong LoP.

CT Ravi, who earlier served as minister and national general secretary, is said to be another choice for the party. A Vokkaliga leader, he too finds support among a section of leaders. Another MLC, Chalavadi Narayanaswamy, is also in the race. Vijayendra, who is in Delhi, reportedly spoke about the matter with senior leaders. Meanwhile, there is buzz that Ashoka could be replaced by Sunil Kumar, BJP MLA of Karkala, who is an OBC. With the Session expected to commence in July, Vijayendra may finalise the names.

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The New Indian Express