As BS Yediyurappa took oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka on Friday, BJP leaders in the state are now mulling over moving a motion of no confidence against Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar. Sources in the BJP told TNM that the motion is very likely to be moved on Monday in order to ensure that the Speaker does not pass an order on the resignations of the 14 rebel MLAs, which is still pending.
The party is planning to move the vote of no-confidence ahead of the floor test on Monday.
KR Ramesh Kumar, a Congress veteran, is currently handling the resignation and disqualification of 14 rebel MLAs of the Congress-JD(S) coalition having already disqualified rebel Congress MLAs Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathalli as well as legislator from Ranebennur 'Pendulum' R Shankar. Ramesh Kumar had stated in his order that the three legislators could not contest the elections till the end of the term of the 15th Lok Sabha.
"Our legal team has advised us that this is the best way to go about it. Once a motion of no-confidence is passed, the Speaker will not be able to decide on the issue of the resignations. This will ensure that these 14 rebels are not disqualified," a BJP leader told TNM.
However, Ramesh Kumar will have to preside over Yeddyurappa's floor test as he will have 15 days to be removed as Speaker once the motion of no confidence is passed, the BJP source added.
These rebels were vital for the BJP as they led to the collapse of the coalition government earlier on Tuesday. And if these rebels get disqualified, they wonâ€™t be eligible to contest the bye-elections necessitated due to their removal from the Assembly.
Ramesh Kumar is likely to be replaced by BJP's KG Bopaiah, who has served as the Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly from 2009 to 2013, sources further said. Yediyurappa had also held a meeting with him ahead of Friday's swearing-in ceremony.
Bopaiah was also appointed as the pro-tem Speaker by Governor Vajubhai Vala in May 2018 when Yediyurappa's tenure as CM had ended after just two days.
This was opposed by the Congress and the JD(S) who said this was against the convention of appointing the senior-most MLA as the pro-tem Speaker. The same was also mentioned in the Supreme Court in the midnight hearing which led to the floor test for Yeddyurappa being advanced within 24 hours instead of 15 daysâ€™ time given by Governor Vajubhai Vala.
Previously in 2008, when Yeddyurappa was sworn in as the CM for the second time, Bopaiah was appointed the pro-tem Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly in 2008 by then-Governor Rameshwar Thakur.
Bopaiah is known to be an out and out Yeddyurappa loyalist and had even disqualified 11 rebel BJP MLAs and 5 independents for refusing to tow Yediyurappa's line at the height of the illegal mining crisis. He was ultimately pulled up by the Supreme Court for this decision.