The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership has picked Chhattisgarh party president Dharam Lal Kaushik as the Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly. According to reports, the party preferred Kaushik over Raman Singh, who ruled the state for three consecutive terms, because it wanted someone from Other Backward Classes (OBCs) community for this post as this community make up about 46 per cent of the state's population. The BJP wants to reach out to the OBCs ahead of the parliamentary elections, which are just a few months away.
Some reports suggest, that Raman Singh himself was not inclined to take the position as he is planning to return to national politics. The decision to appoint Kaushik as the Leader of the Opposition was taken during a meeting of senior party leaders with newly elected MLAs on Friday. Union Minister Thawarchand Gehlot and Anil Kumar Jain were also present at the meeting.
Dharam Lal Kaushik is an MLA from Bilha constituency of Chhattisgarh. He won against Congress candidate Rajendra Shukla. In 2013, Kaushik was defeated by Congress' Siyaram Kaushik. He was appointed state president on January 4, 2016.