Cong-JD(S) jumps into Speaker race

Winning election a Herculean task for Opposition

The BJP has fielded Deputy Speaker K G Bopaiah as its nominee for the vacancy caused by the induction of Jagadish Shettar into the State Cabinet. The Congress and the JD(S) combine has fielded senior Congress leader T B Jayachandra.

Going solely by the attendance of the legislature party meeting of the BJP on Tuesday evening, the party should have no problem in retaining the post of the speaker.
Of the 123 members, including five Independents, 119 attended the meeting. And those who did not make it to the meeting had sought the permission of the chief whip to absent themselves.

Both the BJP and the Congress have issued whip to their members.  
More than the Congress, it is the JD (S) which is keen on contesting the poll. JD (S) leader H D Kumaraswamy is expecting that at least 10 to 12 MLAs of the BJP, who are miffed with Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa will abstain from voting.

He is also hoping that the Independent MLAs who are ministers would also support Jayachandra.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah of the Congress also expressed confidence that in view of the continuing dissidence in the BJP, Jayachandra will be victorious.

The nomination of Bopaiah will be moved first as he filed the papers prior to Jayachandra. Yeddyurappa will move a motion for electing Bopaiah as Speaker.

If the Opposition does not press for division, Bopaiah will be declared elected. Otherwise, the motion will be put to vote.

Bopaiah’s name will be moved first for voting. If the candidate gets the support of more than 50 per cent of the members present during voting in the House, he will be declared elected.

In case he fails to get the requisite number of votes, the name of the second candidate will be moved. Between the two, whoever gets the maximum number of votes will be declared elected.

Winning the election will be a Herculean task for the Opposition parties. The BJP’s strength including five Independents is 123 (including one nominated member).
The combined strength of the Congress and JD (S) is 102 including Independent MLA Varthur Prakash who parted ways with the ruling BJP. Even if nearly a dozen BJP MLAs do not participate in the election, Bopaiah will still sail through.

Yeddyurappa will have a tough time only if at least 20 of his MLAs abstain or indulge in cross-voting. It is to be seen whether the Opposition will succeed in persuading more than 20 members of the BJP against voting.

MLAs meet BSY

Meanwhile, a group of four legislators, led by Appachu Ranjan from Kodagu, on Tuesday met Yeddyurappa and told him Renukacharya should not have been made a minister. Ranjan told reporters they wanted Renukacharya to be dropped “in the interest of maintaining the good image of the party”.

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