Governor appoints BJP MLA KG Bopaiah as K’taka Pro-tem Speaker
Bengaluru: Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala has appointed BJP MLA KG Bopaiah as pro-tem speaker ahead of the floor test tomorrow (Saturday). Bopaiah was Karnataka Speaker from 2009 to 2013. Normally, the Pro-tem Speaker is usually the senior-most MLA in the House.
The Congress has now objected to Governor Vale’s appointment of Bopaiah and said that rules should be followed.
Karnataka is set to witness a trust vote on Saturday evening after a direction by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court also said that the pro-tem Speaker will order and oversee the trust vote in the Assembly.
Congress leader RV Deshpande is the senior-most member in the House and has won elections eight out of nine times that he has contested the elections since 1983.
Meanwhile, the second-most senior leader in the House is BJP’s Umesh Vishwanath Katti – who has won seven out of eight elections since 1985.
Both JD(S) and Congress have opposed the Governor’s move.
Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who represented the Congress in the Supreme Court on Friday, said: “What the BJP has done is not the right thing. By asking a person who is not the senior-most MLA to be a pro-tem Speaker. But, that is, at the moment, under consideration. Today, the pro-tem Speaker requirement remains while the SC is two-fold: a) Swear himself, sit there and b) to swear the others and immediately after that, without anything else, to carry out the vote.”
Who is BJP MLA KG Bopaiah?
Bopaiah is known to be a trusted ally of BS Yeddyurappa. In October 2010, during the crisis surrounding the illegal mining scam, several MLAs from the BJP within the party had objected to the government under the leadership of Yeddyurappa.
Speaker Bopaiah in a controversial move had disqualified 11 rebel BJP MLAs and 5 independents. This had played a major role in the survival of the BJP government in Karnataka, the first time that they had won in a south Indian state.
He had also earned the criticism of the Supreme Court for the decision and the manner in which he acted during the trust vote. The Supreme Court had quashed his decision and said that it did not meet the twin tests of natural justice and fair play.