Pro-tem speaker K G Bopaiah, the man who conducted two trust votes in three days
K G Bopaiah the Virajpet MLA who took oath as the pro-tem speaker is not new to the job. He has handled controversial trust votes in the past which the BJP had won in 2010 when it was in power.
Bopaiah was the speaker when B S Yeddyurappa faced two trust votes in three days. The first trust vote was a controversial one which led to the then Governor of Karnataka, H R Bharadwaj directing Yeddyurappa to take another trust vote.
Bopaiah was the speaker when the first trust vote took place on October 11 2010. The trust vote was marred by chaotic scenes. However in the second trust vote that was conducted three days later, Bopaiah took a head count to conclude that the confidence motion was passed with a majority.
The confidence motion was moved amidst protest from the Congress camp. Bopaiah initiated the proceedings after rejecting a plea of the then Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah for postponing the trust vote in view of the hearing on disqualification petitions by the Karnataka High Court.
A division bench of Karnataka High Court, while rejecting a plea by 5 disqualified rebel independent legislators for restoration their voting rights, had ruled that the outcome of the trust vote would be subject to a final verdict on pleas seeking quashing of disqualification of MLAs.
Sixteen MLAs - 14 BJP and 5 independents - had moved the court against Bopaiah's order to disqualify them under provisions of anti-defection laws. Yeddyurappa was forced to go in for the second trial of strength after Governor H R Bhardwaj rejected the result of the Monday vote as 'farce' and asked him to prove his majority again.
K. G. Bopaiah was born in a Kodagu on 17 October 1955 at Kalur, a small village near Madikeri in Kodagu district. He is the second son of Kombarana Ganapathy and Chinnamma. After completing his B.Sc., he joined the BMS College in Bangalore to study law. After completing his graduation in law as a gold medallist, he returned to Madikeri in 1980 and started practising law.
He served as pro-tem Speaker after the BJP victory and administered oath of office to all the members of the Legislative Assembly.Later, he was unanimously elected as the Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. On 30 December 2009, he was elected as the Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly following the resignation of the previous speaker, Jagadish Shettar.
The election of the Speaker, however, was held under chaotic circumstances as the Opposition parties wanted the elections to be postponed due to the death of the Kannada actor Vishnuvardhan. However, the government went ahead with the election process and K G Bopaiah won.
In October 2011, 11 disgruntled MLAs of the ruling BJP along with some independent MLAs revolted against the leadership of B.S. Yeddyurappa and submitted a letter to the Governor withdrawing their support to the BJP Government. In a controversial move, Bopaiah disqualified the rebel MLAs and thus played a major role in the survival of the BJP Government in Karnataka. Although his decision was upheld by the Karnataka High Court, it was overturned by the Supreme Court of India. The Supreme Court criticised the Speaker for the haste with which he had acted during the trust vote.