K’taka floor test: Guv breaks convention, appoints BJP leader as pro-tem speaker

Bengaluru: Breaking the convention of appointing the senior-most legislator, Karnataka Governor Vajubhai R. Vala on Friday appointed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA K.G. Bopaiah as pro-tem speaker ahead of floor test tomorrow in the state assembly.

As per the standard practice, the Governor elects the senior most member as the pro-tem Speaker. This time, no reason has been ascribed for departing from the said convention. The Congress, as well as JD(S) criticised Vala’s move.

Congress leader RV Deshpande is the senior-most member, who has won eight elections out of nine times. The second-most senior leader in the House is BJP’s Umesh Vishwanath Katti – who has won seven out of eight elections since 1985, said a report by The News Minute.

The former president of the Karnataka Youth Congress and MLA called Vajubhai R. Vala ‘a BJP agent’ in his tweet and wrote: “Shocking decision by the Hon’ble Governor..Constitutional Convention says the seniormost,in this case RV Deshpande should’ve been named. Also Supreme Court had passed structures against the conduct of KG Bopiah as Speaker. Sad to see Vajubhai Valaji behaving like an agent of BJP.”

The decision was taken after the top court heard the arguments for and against the petition filed by the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) following Governor Vala’s invitation to the BJP to form the government in the state.
The BJP has 104 MLAs, but they are still short of the halfway mark of 111 by seven MLAs and have been given 24 hours to prove their majority in the Karnataka assembly by the apex court.

ANI inputs