BJP’s Vishweshwar Kageri to be new Karnataka Assembly Speaker
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s MLA Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri is set to become the Speaker of Karnataka assembly on Wednesday in the absence of any contenders.
The post fell vacant after KR Ramesh Kumar of the Congress resigned on Monday, moments after chief minister BS Yediyurappa won the floor test in the House, and a week after the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government lost the confidence vote last Tuesday.
Kageri, a six-time MLA from the Sirsi constituency in the coastal Uttara Kannada district, was accompanied by Yediyurappa and BJP senior leaders Govind Karjol, R Ashok, Jagadish Shettar, K S Eshwarappa and S Suresh Kumar when he filed his nomination with Assembly secretary MK Vishalakshi.
“The deadline for filing nominations was noon, and till then we received only one nomination,” Vishalakshi said.
On Monday, the BJP had shown interest in fielding former Speaker KD Bopaiah for the post. “He was more inclined towards a Cabinet post as he has already been a Speaker in the past,” a senior BJP leader said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
“The choice was really between Kageri and Bopaiah. The former was willing to take up any post offered by the party, so even though we were inclined towards Bopaiah we had to change our decision,” the BJP leader said.
Both the Congress and JD(S) refused to field candidates because their numbers are lower than that of the BJP, leaders from both parties confirmed. The BJP has 105 MLAs and the support of one Independent in the House, which has a current strength of 208 after Ramesh Kumar disqualified 17 MLAs last week.