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Fresh election sought for Speaker’s post

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Pandemonium: Janata Dal (Secular) MLA Zameer Ahmed trying to obstruct the process to elect the Speaker in the Legislative Assembly in Bangalore on Wednesday.
Pandemonium: Janata Dal (Secular) MLA Zameer Ahmed trying to obstruct the process to elect the Speaker in the Legislative Assembly in Bangalore on Wednesday.

Special Correspondent

Congress, Janata Dal (Secular) urge Governor to declare K.G. Bopaiah’s election null and void

Bangalore: Leaders of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) in the two Houses of the State Legislature on Wednesday requested Governor H.R. Bhardwaj to order a fresh election for the post of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in the light of the pandemonium that prevailed in the Assembly and the unseemly hurry of the Government in pushing through with the election process.

Soon after the Legislative Assembly was adjourned sine die by newly elected Speaker K.G. Bopaiah , the Opposition leaders and several members of the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council went in a procession to the Raj Bhavan from the adjoining Vidhana Soudha and submitted a memorandum urging the Governor to declare the election held on Wednesday as null and void and order for a fresh election.

In the memorandum signed by Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah and the leader of the Janata Dal (Secular) Legislature Party H.D. Revanna , the two parties said “the whole process of Speaker’s election on the face of it, prima facie was a conspiracy hatched by the Chief Minister and his party. We the legislators urge your excellency to intervene and declare the election as null and void and order for fresh election on a day as deemed fit by you in the interest of democracy and to uphold the dignity and sanctity of the legislature”.

As a discussion on the obituary resolution to mourn the demise of the noted film actor Vishnuvardhan was in progress, many Opposition members made it clear that after the passage of the obituary resolution, the Assembly should be adjourned for the day as a mark of respect. However, soon after the obituary resolution was adopted the panel Speaker (Yogish Bhat) started the election proceedings which is against the rules and conventions.

The Opposition leaders said that in a similar situation in the Legislative Council when the Deputy Chairman was a candidate for the post of the Chairman, then Governor had appointed a senior member to conduct the election.

Presiding officer

In the present instance, contrary to the provisions of the rules of procedure, the contesting candidate himself selected a person to preside over the election process who, in turn, without following any provisions of law conducted the election arbitrarily and declared that Mr. Bopaiah has been elected Speaker. Thereafter, even without the customary felicitations from both the Treasury and the Opposition benches, Mr. Bopaiah adjourned the house sine die. In effect, the legitimate rights and privileges of the members of the legislative assembly also stood curtailed.

Suggestion

Earlier in the Assembly, the Opposition leader suggested to the Government to put off the election by a day and if need be to call for an emergency meeting of the State Cabinet and suggest a fresh date to the Governor to order for the election.

It was also conveyed to the Government that the Assembly was supreme in deciding on matters pertaining to transaction of business in the House and therefore the members could vote for putting off the election by a day and the Governor could be informed of the same.

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