B S Yeddyurappa has been sworn in as the Chief Minister of Karnataka. The focus now shifts to the floor of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly where the BJP will have to prove it has a majority. All this would however be subject to the result of the writ petition that is pending before the Supreme Court which will be heard today.
In a floor test, the Speaker of the House would play a crucial role. In this regard when the House convenes for a floor test, a pro-tem speaker would have to be selected. Before that let us take a look at what a pro-tem speaker is.
A pro-tem speaker is the one who operates as a temporary speaker. To conduct the work in the Centre or in state legislatures, a pro-tem speaker is appointed for a limited period. When a new assembly is elected, but the vote for the speaker or deputy speaker has not taken place, the pro-tem speaker ins chosen. A pro-tem speaker is chosen with the agreement of the members of the legislative assembly so that he can carry on the activities till the permanent speaker is chosen.
The question now is what happens in Karnataka. Both the BJP and the Congress-JD(S) combine would want their man considering the fact that the pro-tem speaker will conduct the floor test.
Both parties would have to come to a conclusion on the member and then submit the name to the Governor of Karnataka who will take the final call. The convention is that the senior most member of the House is chosen as a pro-tem speaker. Further it would also be taken into account that he or she is not likely to be the speaker candidate and also should not be a minister.
In this hard fought battle it would be interesting to see if al the parties come to a conclusion on the pro-tem speaker. If convention is to be followed then it would Congress leader R V Deshpande who would be the pro-tem speaker as he is the senior most in the House.
The current strength of the House is 222 and the magic number is 112. The Congress-JD(S) claim that together they have the support of 116 MLAs. The BJP is 8 short with 104 MLAs. The pro-tem speaker will be the one who will conduct the House and it is he would take a call on whether the trust vote should be held through a voice vote or ballot.