The Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Wednesday elected BJP MLA from Sirsi, Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri as the new Speaker. Vishweshwar Kageri had filed his nomination for the post on Tuesday and was the only one to do so. He was elected the Speaker after Congress leader KR Ramesh Kumar resigned as the Speaker on Monday.
BJP sources say that the high command hand-picked Vishweshwar Hegde for the post. "The orders came in at around 11.30 am on Tuesday that Vishweshwar Hegde must file nomination for the post of the Speaker. He was picked as he is a veteran in the party and been an MLA six times," the source said.
Vishweshwar Hegde was elected as the Speaker unanimously without opposition from the Congress and JD(S). Born on July 10, 1961 in Sirsi, Vishweshwar Hegde has been elected as the legislator from the region six times. Hegde studied B.Com at Karnataka University and was an active member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) â€” BJPâ€™s student wing, during his college days and was also elected the student union leader at the time.
He soon became a member of the BJP and was given a ticket to contest from the erstwhile Ankola Assembly constituency for the first time in 1994. He was re-elected as the MLA from Ankola in 1999 and 2004. However, after delimitation in 2008, the constituency became Sirsi, where he won the subsequent elections thrice.
An RSS man and a BJP loyalist, Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri served as the Minister for Primary and Secondary Education in the Yediyurappa government in 2008.
Earlier, Ramesh Kumarâ€™s resignation was on expected lines as the Speaker is usually from the ruling side as per convention and the BJP had hinted it would move a no-confidence motion against him.
His resignation also came a day after he disqualified 14 legislators from the Congress and the JD(S). On Friday, Ramesh Kumar had disqualified three other rebel MLAs until the expiry of the current term of the Assembly.