Newly appointed Karnataka pro-tem speaker KG Bopaiah helped Yeddyurappa in past trust vote
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Newly appointed Karnataka pro-tem speaker KG Bopaiah helped Yeddyurappa in past trust vote

Bopaiah, an old RSS hand, was administered the oath as pro-tem speaker by Karanataka Governor Vajubhai Vala.

india Updated: May 18, 2018 23:57 IST
Venkatesha Babu
Venkatesha Babu
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
KG Bopaiah,Karnataka pro-tem speaker,Vajubhai Vala
Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala appoints BJP MLA KG Bopaiah as Pro-Tem Speaker, ahead of floor test tomorrow, in Bengaluru, on Friday. (PTI Photo)

Ganapathy Bopaiah, 62, a three-time MLA from Virajpet constituency in Kodagu district and a former Speaker, was selected by Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala as pro-tem Speaker and administered the oath of office, provoking immediate howls of protest from the Congress.

A pro-tem Speaker is a temporary Speaker chosen to preside over the proceedings of the House till a new Speaker is elected. By convention, it is usually a senior member of the House, but the governor has the discretion on whom he chooses. Bopiah, who was the Speaker earlier between November 2009 and May 2013, was seen as a controversial choice. Some of his past decisions had come under criticism by the Supreme Court. In the previous BS Yeddyurappa government, when some BJP members revolted, he disqualified them and helped the government survive. The SC had then rapped the Speaker’s conduct as a “partisan trait” and said it didn’t “meet twin tests of natural justice and fair play” while reversing the disqualification.

Bopaiah, an ‘arebashe gowda’ from Kodagu who was a long-time Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker and lawyer before getting into electoral politics, will preside over the confidence motion, which will determine whether the Yeddurappa government will survive. The Congress has protested, saying the convention is to select the senior-most MLA as the pro-tem Speaker, and said its MLA from Haliyal, RV Deshpande, who has won seven times, should have therefore been the choice. Bopaiah’s role is critical as the pro-tem Speaker has a wide range of powers in conducting assembly proceedings.

Responding to Congress criticism, Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted that even in 2008, Bopaiah was appointed pro-tem speaker by the then governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj. He said Bopaiah’s appointment was as per rules and regulations and added that the objection from Congress was “hyprocisy.”

First Published: May 18, 2018 17:59 IST