Jagadish Shettar resigns; to take oath as minister today

Bopaiah will function as Speaker for now

Jagadish Shettar submitting his resignation letter to Deputy Speaker K G Bopaiah in Bangalore on Monday.

Shettar on Monday resigned as speaker of the Legislative Assembly, a post to which, according to his loyalists, he “had been confined” for the last 18 months. Governor H R Bhardwaj will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Shettar as Cabinet minister at 11.30 am at Raj Bhavan on Tuesday.

Considering Shettar’s seniority and his services as State BJP president, leader of the Opposition and Speaker, a plum post awaits the Hubli leader.

Party sources said it could either be industries or rural development and panchayat raj with mines and geology or forests (the last two currently with the chief minister) thrown-in for good measure.

The Reddy faction in the BJP had propped up Jagadish Shettar as an alternative to Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa during the fortnight-long crisis in the party.

However, the demand for change in leadership was dropped after the party central leadership hammered out a five-point compromise formula between the warring groups.
Shettar’s induction into the Cabinet as well as a position for him in the yet-to-be constituted core-committee, figured in the compromise formula.

It was no coincidence that Tourism Minister Janardharana Reddy, who spearheaded the rebellion against Yeddyurappa, was present when Shettar submitted his resignation to Deputy Speaker K G Bopaiah.

“The Speaker’s post is an honourable one. Having been in active politics for more than two decades, initially I felt a bit trapped. However, I soon overcame it and discharged my duties to the best of my ability,” Shettar said.

He added his tenure as Speaker had given him complete satisfaction. He said he had tried to bring in several reforms, including organising training sessions for legislators and completing the modalities for setting up a society for legislators on the lines of the Constitution Club in New Delhi for parliamentarians.

The Deputy Speaker will discharge the responsibilities of the Speaker, until a new presiding officer is elected by the Assembly.

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