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Ahead of Karnataka floor test, Supreme Court to hear Congress plea against Bopaiah soon

The Congress moved the Supreme Court on Friday night after governor Vajubhai Vala appointed Bopaiah as the protem speaker ahead of the floor test in the Karnataka assembly.

india Updated: May 19, 2018 10:36 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru and New Delhi
Karnataka assembly,Karnataka assembly floor test,Karnataka MLAs
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa (left) is greeted by pro-tem speaker KG Bopaiah in Bengaluru on Thursday. (PTI)

A petition challenging the appointment of BJP leader and former speaker KG Bopaiah as the protem speaker will be heard by the Supreme Court at 10.30 am on Saturday, half an hour before the new Karnataka legislative assembly convenes for a Supreme Court-ordered floor test that will reveal if the BJP government led by BS Yeddyrappa stays or goes.

The Congress moved the Supreme Court on Friday night after governor Vajubhai Vala appointed Bopaiah as the protem speaker. Vala’s move came after an apex court order that curtailed the 15-day period given to Yeddyurappa to prove his majority and told him to face a floor test by 4 pm.

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra decided to list the matter before the three-judge bench of Justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan, which heard the first petition challenging Vala’s decision on inviting Yeddyurappa to form the government.

The Congress and the JD(S), who allege that the BJP is attempting to influence their newly elected legislators to make up the numbers for clearing the floor test, said that the senior-most leader should be the pro-tem speaker.

“The Governor has once again launched an encounter on the Constitution by appointing KG Bopaiah as pro tem Speaker instead of the senior-most MLA. Appointment of KG Bopaiah as pro-tem Speaker violates constitutional traditions and parliamentary practices,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.

The Congress spokesperson hit out at Union Minister and Karnataka BJP in-charge Prakash Javadekar, saying the latter is speaking a thousand lies to hide one.

“KG Bopaiah was appointed as pro-tem speaker even in 2008 by the then governor. That time Bopaiah was 10 years younger than he is today. Congress is thus raising a hoax objection. The appointment of Bopaiah ji is as per rules and regulations,” Javadekar said.

Bopaiah was the Karnataka assembly speaker between 2009 and 2013. Considered close to Yeddyurappa, he had disqualified 11 disgruntled BJP and five Independent MLAs ahead of a trust vote, a move that helped the Yeddyurappa government in 2011. Bopaiah’s decision was upheld by the Karnataka High Court but overturned by the Supreme Court, which said he had acted in haste, indicting him and passing strictures against him.

First Published: May 18, 2018 16:20 IST