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Raman Singh Gets Aide Dharamlal Kaushik Appointed as LoP in Chhattisgarh After Facing Opposition

Kaushik emerged winner for the post after the name of former Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh was opposed by two other contenders and former ministers — Brij Mohan Agrawal and Nanki Ram Kanwar.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:January 4, 2019, 7:17 PM IST
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Raman Singh Gets Aide Dharamlal Kaushik Appointed as LoP in Chhattisgarh After Facing Opposition
Kaushik who was born in Bilaspur on Feb 1, 1958, has been associated with RSS since his early days and started his political journey as general secretary of Bilha mandal of BJP in 1990. He had fought his first election from Bilha in 1998 and won.
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Bhopal: On the day when the inaugural session of Chhattisgarh assembly got underway, the Bharatiya Janata Party elected state head Dharamlal Kaushik as the Leader of Opposition.

Veteran politician Charan Das Mahant was elected as Speaker of Chhattisgarh’s fifth assembly later in the day.

With the BJP MLAs remaining busy in the election of LoP, the assembly started proceedings with a lone BJP MLA – Punnulal Mohle - being in attendance.

Kaushik emerged winner for the post after the name of former Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh was opposed by two other contenders and former ministers — Brij Mohan Agrawal and Nanki Ram Kanwar.

Seeing the opposition, Singh, who was dethroned by a resilient Congress in assembly polls, forwarded his close aide Kaushik’s name. Being the party’s state chief, Kaushik did not face much opposition and soon after central observers Thavar Chand Gehlot and Anil Jain announced his name.

Earlier, the central observers held a marathon two-hour meeting with the MLAs.

“The party has been assigned with the responsibility of opposition and we would put forward the problems of 2.5 crore public,” Kaushik said after his election.

“We all wanted a person from the party organization and we forwarded Kaushik ji’s name unanimously,” Dr Raman Singh told the media after the meeting.

One of the central observes, Gehlot claimed that they had one-on-one discussion with all the 15 MLAs and then sought a proposal following which Dr Singh proposed the name of Dharamlal Kaushik and Brij Mohan Agrawal seconded the name.

Party insiders claimed Kaushik’s elevation was an outcome of direct tussle between Singh and former minister Brij Mohan Agrawal as both declined to back each other’s name. Former minister Ajay Chandrakar, a Kurmi like Kaushik, was also in the contention.

In power for 15 years, the BJP has been relegated to 15 members in assembly following a dismal show in assembly elections.

Kaushik who was born in Bilaspur on Feb 1, 1958, has been associated with RSS since his early days and started his political journey as general secretary of Bilha mandal of BJP in 1990. He had fought his first election from Bilha in 1998 and won.

Likewise Mahant, elected as the Speaker of the Chhattisgarh Assembly by Congress, has been a loyal servant of his party. His father Bisahu Das had also served the party from 1952 to 1978.

Bisahu Das Mahant, a farmer, had actively participated in freedom struggle and had won the first election from Baradwar in 1952 on a Congress ticket. He contested and won six assembly polls and served in various ministries in undivided MP. Following the footsteps of his father, Charan Das left his government job as Naib Tehsildar at the age of 24 and joined Congress.

Mahant has been a trusted lieutenant of Congress since 1980 and is the lone Lok Sabha MP of the party from Chhattisgarh presently.

The four-time MLA and three time MP was the lone applicant for the post and was elected unanimously. Holding degrees of MSc, MA, LLB and PhD, Mahant, 64, actively works for the promotion of tribal art and culture. He has been member of various committees of the parliament and ministries.
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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