Madikeri: The election of Kombarana Ganapathy Bopaiah as Speaker of the legislative Assembly on Wednesday has come as a rare honour for Kodagu.
Born on October 17, 1955, at the sleepy Kalur village near here, he is the second son of Kombarana Ganapathy and Chinnamma. He was closely associated with the Sangh Parivar since his school days. He had his primary education in the Kalur Government Primary School and went to Chettalli in Somwarpet taluk for high school.
Mr. Bopaiah obtained B.Sc. degree from the then Government Senior College here (now Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa College) in 1974. He was as an active ABVP member during his college days. He participated in the movement against the Kambadakada dam project in Kodagu proposed by the government in 1970.
After completing B.Sc., Mr. Bopaiah joined the BMS College in Bangalore for LLB course. He was arrested during the Emergency in Bangalore and jailed for some time. After completing the LLB course as a gold medallist, Mr. Bopaiah returned to Madikeri in 1980 and started practising law.
He was appointed as general secretary of the Kodagu unit of the BJP and elevated as its president in the 90s. He was chosen to contest from the Madikeri Assembly segment in 2004, which he won as the BJP candidate comfortably.
In the previous elections, Mr. Bopaiah contested from the Virajpet Assembly constituency.
Mr. Bopaiah served as pro tem Speaker for four days after the BJP won the mandate and has the honour of administering oath to all the members of the legislative Assembly in that capacity. Later, he was made Deputy Speaker of the legislative Assembly. His wife Kunthi is the principal of the Kudige School in Somwarpet taluk. His elder daughter Prajna is an engineering student in Bangalore and second daughter is studying in the St. Joseph’s Convent School here.
Biddanda S. Kushalappa served as Speaker of the then Coorg State Assembly in the early 50s. Coorg was a Part “C” State from 1952 to 1956.