Bengaluru, May The BJP Legislature Party meeting scheduled early this week is expected to choose the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly where the saffron party will have 66 members.
Under the present circumstances, a large section of BJP leaders seem in favour of Caretaker Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to become the Leader of the Opposition, a crucial position to corner the government in the Assembly.
Senior lawmakers R Ashoka (Vokkaliga), Basanagouda Patil Yatnal (Panchamasali-Lingayat) and Karkala MLA V Sunil Kumar (Idiga) are contenders for the position, it is said.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting of top BJP leaders, Bommai said the party's state president Nalin Kumar Kateel has convened a meeting of new MLAs in the next 3-4 days where various issues would be discussed.
A senior leader said that Bommai - who belongs to the Sadar section of Lingayats - is in the race to become the Leader of the Opposition due to his experience of handling crucial departments like water resources, finance and home.
“He's a good debater, too. Therefore, he has an edge over others unless the party's central leadership wants to overhaul the state unit entirely and pick fresh faces ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls,” the leader said.
There are calls within the party to go for a Hindutva face like Yatnal or Sunil Kumar to take on the new Congress government that is expected to overturn several decisions of the previous BJP government such as repealing laws banning cow slaughter and regulating religious conversion.
They may be considered for the position of Deputy Leader of the Opposition, sources said. Even Ashoka and S Suresh Kumar (Brahmin) could be considered, it is said.