Natak over Karnataka Pro Tem Speaker..Who is Bopaiah

New Delhi/Bengaluru, May 18: The Karnataka 'natak' has reached the Supreme Court again. This time thanks to a man called KG Bopaiah. Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala on Friday appointed BJP legislator K.G. Bopaiah as Karnataka Assembly's Pro-Tem Speaker for administering oath to all newly elected legislators on Saturday ahead of the floor test directed by the Supreme Court. Now who is Bopaiah, and why his election has kicked off a political storm.

Bopaiah is  BJP MLA for Virajpet in Karnataka. In 2011 he was instrumental in saving the Yeddyruppa government when 11 disgruntled BJP MLAs along with some independent MLAs had rebelled against BS Yeddyurappa. These MLAs had submitted a letter to the Governor withdrawing their support to the BJP Government. Bopaiah was Speaker of the Assembly then. As Speaker he had disqualified the disqualified the rebel MLAs saved the BJP Government in Karnataka.  His decision was, however, upheld by the Karnataka High Court, but was later overturned by the Supreme Court of India. At that point of time the Supreme Court had criticised the Speaker for his hasty action during the trust vote.

Bopaiah, 62, is a three-time legislator from Virajpet seat in Kodagu region, 260 km from Bengaluru. He was Speaker during the Bharatiya Janata Party rule in the state from 2008-13.

All newly-elected legislators will be administered oath in the Assembly premises.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court ordered the floor test in Assembly at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

In the May 12 elections held in 222 constituencies across the state, 104 seats were won by the BJP, Congress (78), JD-S (37), one by independent, one by Bahujan Samaj Party and one by regional Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party.

Though the JD-S won 37 seats, its effective strength is 36 since its state President H.D. Kumaraswamy won from Channapatna and Ramanagara segments but has only one vote.
News24Bureau/IANS