Hours after Supreme Court rubbished his 15-day time given to BJP chief minister Yeddyurappa to prove his strength, Karnataka Govenor Vajubhai R Vala again took another controversial decision.
Deviating from the convention of appointing the senior most member of the Assembly, appointed tainted BJP MLA KG Bopaiah as the Protem speaker. Chief minister Yeddyurappa is going to face floor test tomorrow at the directive form the Supreme Court. This is second appoint as protem speaker for Bopaiah (62), a five time law-maker. In 2010 also he helped Yeddi to win the trust vote.
He was the speaker of Karnataka Assembly from 2009 to 2013 and was appointed the pro-tem Speaker in 2008 by Governor Rameshwar Thakur.
KG Bopaiah is not new for controversies. He was rapped by the Supreme Court for being partisan during the vote of confidence in 2010, according to a report in The Quint.
“Drastic and partisan step taken in hot haste and great hurry with extraneous considerations,” were the words use by Supreme Court while striking down Bopaiah’s decision in 2010, disqualifying 16 MLAs to ensure that the then chief minister BS Yeddyurappa won the trust vote, according to a report in The Quint.
The matter went to the court and in its judgment, the Supreme Court on 13 May 2011 had delivered the judgment. The Quint quoted the judgement which said : “The procedure adopted by the Speaker seems to indicate that he was trying to meet the time schedule set by the Governor for the trial of strength in the Assembly and to ensure that the appellants and the other independent MLAs stood disqualified prior to the date on which the floor was to be held. It would appear that such a course of action was adopted by the Speaker on 10 October 2010 since the vote of confidence was slated for 12 October.”
Although the decision to appoint the pro tem Speaker is at the discretion of the Governor, the precedence was to appoint the senior-most member of the Assembly.
In the current Assembly, 8th time MLA and Congress leader RV Deshpande is the senior-most member. Even in the BJP, Bopaiah is not the senior-most, the BJP’s Umesh Katti has been elected to the House seven times.
Congress lawyers are on the way to the SC to file a petition challenging Bopiah’s appointment.