Congress challenges appointment of BJP's Bopaiah as Karnataka Protem Speaker, all eyes on CJI

The floor test needs to be conducted under the supervision of the Protem Speaker. Three-time BJP MLA Bopaiah would take the final call on whether BJP has indeed proven majority - or not.

Congress challenges appointment of BJP's Bopaiah as Karnataka Protem Speaker, all eyes on CJI
IANS photo

BENGALURU: Amid the high-pitched political drama going on in Karnataka following a hung verdict in the assembly polls, the Congress on Friday has challenged Governor Vajubhai Vala's decision of appointing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA KG Bopaiah as the Protem Speaker.

On Thursday, BJP's BS Yeddyurappa was sworn in as the 23rd Chief Minister of a minority government in the state. Following this, the Congress and JDS knocked the door of the Supreme Court challenging the Governor's invitation to the BJP.

A Supreme Court three-judge special bench on Friday ordered the newly-inducted Chief Minister to take a trust vote at 4 pm on Saturday. The floor test needs to be conducted under the supervision of the Protem Speaker.

As per Zee News sources, the Congress has, meanwhile, reached the registry office to get the petition listed. All eyes are now set on the Chief Justice of India who will constitute a fresh bench owing to the absence of one of the judges in town.

Shortly after Bopaiah was picked as the interim Speaker for the floor test, the grand old party cried foul claiming that the decision has been made against the convention. As per the protocol, the seniormost member of the House is nominated as the Protem Speaker. A Protem Speaker's role is to administer oath to new MLAs and to conduct the election of the full-time speaker.

Bopaiah is a senior BJP leader and had won from the Virajpet seat in Karnataka. He had secured 77,944 votes and defeated Congress candidate Arun Machaiah in Virajpet constituency by 13,353 votes, winning for the 4th time.

Karnataka had thrown a hung assembly with BJP winning 104 seats, Congress with 78 and JDS with 38 seats (37 JDS plus 1 BSP seat). As none of the parties reached the magic number of 112 of the 222 seats on which counting was held, it was the discretion of Governor Vala to invite a party to form government. The BJP staked claim on the argument that it is the single largest party while the Congress joined hands with the JDS and claimed that they have the majority in the House.

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