The role of the pro-tem speaker ahead of the crucial Karnataka trust vote
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.
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.
However as per the SC directive today, the pro-tem speaker would convene and conduct proceedings on the floor of the House including the no-confidence vote.
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. 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.