Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar resigned from his post on Monday, less than an hour after Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa passed the trust vote in the House. Ramesh Kumar handed in his resignation to Deputy Speaker Krishna Reddy, who then adjourned the House until 5pm. Deputy Speaker Krishna Reddy of the JD(S) is also expected to resign.
The 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 on a no-confidence motion against him.
His resignation also comes a day after he disqualified 14 legislators from the Congress and the JD(S). On Friday, Speaker Ramesh Kumar had disqualified three other rebel MLAs until the expiry of the current term of the Assembly. As it stands, his order means none of the rebel legislators will be allowed to be inducted into Yediyurappaâs cabinet.
âI request the members of the Assembly to look into the issue of the Tenth Schedule seriously. We all know that it needs to become stronger in order to avoid a situation that we faced recently,â said Ramesh Kumar.
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.
Speaker Ramesh Kumar found himself at the epicentre of the political crisis in the state, when 13 rebel MLAs from the Congress and JD(S) submitted their resignations to his office on July 6. However, the Speaker was not present when the MLAs came to his office, and later insisted that the MLAs come and meet him personally in order for him to assess whether their resignations are genuine. Last week, he disqualified all 16 Congress and JD(S) rebels, and also Independent MLA Shankar, from contesting elections until 2023.
Ramesh Kumar first became a Speaker in the Assembly in 1994 when Deve Gowda was Chief Minister. A product of the socialist movement, Ramesh Kumar was a protege of Devaraj Urs. Ramesh Kumar was part of the Janata Party for over a decade, and later with the Janata Dal. He moved back to the Congress at the turn of the millennium. He is believed to be close to former CM Siddaramaiah.
During the political crisis and Kumaraswamy's trust vote proceedings in the Assembly, Ramesh Kumar kept the mood lively with his usual wit. However, as the trust vote dragged on, he was upset and even kept a resignation letter in his pocket on the day of the trust vote -- to put in his papers if the vote was not held that day.
An actor, a law student who didn't complete his course, and a science graduate, Ramesh Kumar has worn several hats in his career.
In February, Ramesh Kumar callously compared himself to a rape survivor, in context an audio tape that was released. In a part of the tape, the person alleged to be Yediyurappa had claimed that the BJP had âbookedâ the Speaker for Rs 50 crore. âThe rape has happened only once. If the rape victim had been quiet, it would have gone away,â he said.