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Karnataka Governor appoints BJP MLA K.G. Bopaiah as Protem Speaker

Governor Vajubhai Vala has sworn in BJP MLA, K.G. Bopaiah as the Protem Speaker. He was administered the oath at the Raj Bhavan. Bopaiah had served as the Assembly speaker between 2008 and 2013. He represents Virajpet in the current assembly.

The Assembly Secretariat is preparing for the floor test after the 14th Legislative Assembly was dissolved by the Governor. The Secretariat has sent alerts and letters to all legislators to be present for the session that starts on Saturday morning at 11 am. First the legislators will be sworn in and by 4 in the evening the test of strength will be undertaken.

The Congress Party has opposed the appointment of Bopaiah as Protem Speaker… alleging that the BJP is not following the conventions of procedure, by which the seniormost member of the house is nominated to the post. The BJP dismissed the allegation stating that Bopaiah had served both as Protem Speaker and speaker earlier in 2008.

The governor appoints the Protem Speaker. By tradition, it is the senior most member of the House. The appointment is temporary until the Assembly elects its speaker.

The Protem speaker is responsible for swearing in the newly elected MLAs and conducting the floor test. It assumes significance in the conduct of the floor test. The Protem Speaker cannot vote, but has a casting vote in case of a tie.

Many JDS and Congress MLAs have been housed in five star hotels and resorts in Hyderabad.

Elections have been held for 222 seats in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. The majority needed is 112 seats. The BJP has 104 elected MLAs. The JDS Congress post poll alliance have 116 seats. There are two others.

HD  Kumaraswamy of JDS has won two seats and will need to resign from one seat. One member has become protem speaker. Hence the House strength will be decided on the basis of 220 seats.

Meanwhile, both sides claim they have the majority of the house. All eyes are on Saturday’s trust vote…everyone is waiting for a stable government.