Bangalore, Dec.30: The crisis-ridden state BJP presented a united face in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Wednesday to ensure the election of its candidate K G Bopaiah as the Speaker.
But the election of Bopaiah as the successor to Jagadish Shettar, now a Cabinet minister, was not smooth as the Opposition Congress and the JD(S) raised objections to holding the scheduled election as they insisted on adjourning the House after paying homage to actor Vishnuvardhan.
A pitched battle ensued as Opposition leader Siddaramaiah asked the government to postpone the election and recommend to the governor to fix a fresh date for the purpose in view of Vishnuvardhan’s death.
However, acting Speaker Yogish Bhat went ahead with the election. As the BJP had issued the whip to its members to be present for the election, all BJP members and independents supporting the government, in all 123 members, were in attendance. Bhat declared the election of Bopaiah after a voice vote which was not challenged by the Opposition.
The Congress had fielded T B Jayachandra to take on Bopaiah. Jayachandra’s candidature had assumed significance as until two days ago, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa was battling dissidence within the BJP.
As Bopaiah’s election as the Speaker had become clear, the Opposition came up with a different idea. All hell broke as the JD(S) MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan and Congress MLA Kakasaheb Patil went up to Speaker’s chair and threw away the public address system and files. Some ministers tried to pull back the JD (S) members but then the Congress legislators too stormed into the well of the House leading to utter chaos.
In the melee, Yeddyurappa moved the motion on Bopaiah’s candidature and Power Minister Eshwarappa seconded it.
Once the voice vote was over, the election was completed. The new Speaker adjourned the House sine die, a day ahead of the scheduled close of the current session.