BANGALORE: Karnataka Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah finds himself in all kinds of trouble because of the demand for his resignation by four Independent MLAs who have the backing of the Opposition. The demand has come in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict against Bopaiah’s decision to suspend 16 MLAs (five Independents and 11 from the ruling BJP) just before the trust vote faced by the then chief minister B S Yeddyurappa in October 2010.
Everybody in the BJP, including Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, has defended Bopaiah and asserted that there is no need for him to resign. Their argument is: a district judge does not resign if his order is quashed by the high court. Similarly a high court judge also does not resign if his order is not upheld by the Supreme Court. It is all about understanding and interpreting law at different levels. “Bopaiah has acted in his wisdom. There is no malafide in his decision,” says Parliamentary Affairs Minister S Suresh Kumar.
It is a Catch-22 situation for the state BJP. The anti-Yeddyurappa force would love see Bopaiah cornered, merely because of the fact that he was the former chief minister’s choice. Moreover it was Yeddyurappa who masterminded the ‘art’ of surviving the no-confidence motion by persuading Bopaiah to disqualify the 16 MLAs. In this backdrop, any move to remove Bopaiah is construed as making Yeddyurappa morally weak and politically vulnerable. But that might also backfire and force Yeddyurappa to intensify his stand against the state BJP leadership. Already, Yeddyurappa is upset with Gowda on the issue of the postings of Indian Administrative Service and Karnataka Administrative Service officers. From Bopaiah’s point of view, he has to live in a state of perpetual embarrassment for having lowered the dignity of the House.
Ever since the Supreme Court’s judgement, the Congress and JD(S) have lost no time to take both the government as well as the Speaker to task. “Nothing short of Bopaiah’s removal will do,” said Congressman and leader of the Opposition
Basavaraj Horatti, Janata Dal(S) leader, said, “The party has decided that its legislators will not stand up to show respect to the Speaker when he enters the House. He has lost that respect by acting in a partisan way. If he wants to move a privilege motion against the legislators, let him do it.”