Congress’ K R Ramesh Kumar was today unanimously elected the Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly, after BJP candidate S Suresh Kumar pulled out of the race, in a major victory for the JD(S)-Congress coalition before Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy faced the floor test. Shortly before the start of the proceedings, Suresh Kumar said he was withdrawing his nomination following a direction from the BJP leadership.
“On the directions of our party, I had filed the nominationfor the post of Speaker of Karnataka Legislative Assembly. Now, after discussion in the party, it is felt that the Speaker has to be elected unanimously following the parliamentary traditions. I’m withdrawing my nomination,” Suresh Kumar tweeted.
Suresh Kumar, a 5th term MLA from the city, hadfiled his papers yesterday, in an apparent indication by the BJP that it wanted to give the JD(S)-Congress coalition a run for its money in the race for speakership before Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy faced the floor test.
As the House met and pro-tem speaker K G Bopaiah took up the matter, BJP’s Sunil Kumar stood up and said he was not moving the motion proposing Suresh Kumar for the Speaker’s post. Suresh Kumar then said, “I accept it.” Ramesh Kumar’s name was then proposed by former chief minister and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah and seconded by Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the House. Chief Minister Kumaraswamy and BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa escorted Ramesh Kumar to the chair. The move by the BJP, which is the single largest party with 104 MLAs, apparently came because it failed to muster support of additional lawmakers required for the victory of its candidate.
The Congress-JD(S) combine has claimed support of 117 members. The Congress has 78 MLAs, Kumaraswamy’s JD(S) 36, and BSP 1. The alliance has also claimed support of the lone KPJP MLA and an independent. Kumaraswamy had won from two seats.