Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala has nominated Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA KG Bopaiah as Protem Speaker. Bopaiah will be overseeing the trust vote that will be held in Karnataka Assembly on Saturday. The Supreme Court had on Friday ordered a floor test to be held in the Karnataka Assembly to prove which party holds the majority in the House. The floor test needs to be conducted under the supervision of the Protem Speaker.
"In exercise of the powers conferred by Article 188 of the Constitution of India, 1, Vajubhai Vala, Governor of Karnataka, do hereby appoint Sri K.G.Bopaiah, Member of the Legislative Assembly as the person before whom a Member of the Legislative Assembly shall, before taking his seat, make and subscribe an oath or affirmation," the notification by the Governor read.
As soon as the announcement was made, Congress 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.
BJP's BS Yeddyurappa who took oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka on Thursday will have to prove whether he has enough numbers on his side or not in the trust vote. If he loses the floor test, he will have to step down as the CM.
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 Vajubhai 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.
After BS Yeddyurappa took the oath of office on Thursday, the Congress and JDS knocked the door of the Supreme Court challenging the Governor's invitation to the BJP. The trust vote will now be held on Saturday as per the SC order.