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Yediyurappa elected BJP leader in Assembly

By Our Special Correspondent



B.S. Yediyurappa, who was elected Leader of the BJP Legislature Party, seen with Jagadish Shettar (left), M. Venkaiah Naidu, H.N. Ananth Kumar, and K.S. Eshwarappa, in Bangalore on Wednesday. — Photo: K. Gopinathan

BANGALORE, JUNE 9. The Bharatiya Janata Party Legislature Party today unanimously elected B.S. Yediyurappa as its leader. By virtue of his election, Mr. Yediyurappa will become the Leader of the Opposition in the twelfth Legislative Assembly. It is for the second time that he has been elected to the post.

The election of Mr. Yediyurappa was a foregone conclusion after it became clear that the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress would jointly form the Government. The BJP had indicated that the leader would be elected a day prior to the commencement of the legislature session.

Mr. Yediyurappa was elected in the presence of the BJP President, M. Venkaiah Naidu, and the President of the State unit of the BJP, H.N. Ananth Kumar. His name was proposed by Jagadish Shettar, the Leader of the Opposition in the previous Assembly. Mr. Yediyurappa has been in the forefront of the BJP's growth in Karnataka and led the party in the last elections when it secured 44 seats.

Thanking the legislators for reposing their faith in him, Mr. Yediyurappa said the BJP would play the role of a constructive Opposition. The party would keep the interests of the people foremost in mind while taking up issues.

Mr. Yediyurappa said the "unholy" alliance between the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) would not last long and the people were already raising doubts about the Government's longevity.

Mr. Naidu said though the Congress had been rejected by the people, it had entered into an "unholy alliance" with the Janata Dal (S) to be in power. The two had fought against each other in the polls and the verdict was "loud and clear." They had now come together in a highly opportunistic alliance, charged and said that there was a "big question mark" on the Government's survival.

Mr. Naidu said unlike in the past when the Opposition space was shared by the BJP and the Janata Dal factions, this time the space in the Assembly would be occupied by the BJP. The BJP legislators would be "hyperactive" in the House, he said. The BJP, it may be recalled, is the single largest party with 79 seats.

The Janata Dal (S) and the Congress had fought over "creamy portfolios" and the coalition was yet to come out with a Common Minimum Programme.

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