Bengaluru: As expected, senior Congress MLA U.T. Khader has been unanimously elected as the Speaker of the 16th Karnataka Assembly.
Khader, a five-time successive MLA from Mangaluru (erstwhile Ullal) Constituency and also a former Minister, was elected unopposed as he was the only candidate to file nomination papers yesterday.
Khader’s election was a foregone conclusion as it is a normal practice for the nomination of the ruling party candidate to the Speaker’s post, with the Congress winning with an absolute majority in the May 10 Assembly polls.
The CLP (Congress Legislature Party) meeting held earlier in the day in Vidhana Soudha had ratified the nomination of Khader to the Speaker’s post. His name was proposed by CM Siddharamaiah and endorsed by Deputy CM D.K. Shivakumar.
The new Speaker was formally elected on the third and final day today of the first session of the new Assembly, which was conducted by Protem Speaker R.V. Deshpande of the Congress, the senior-most MLA of the House. The first two days of the session (May 22 and 23) were reserved for oath-taking by the newly elected MLAs of the 224-member Karnataka Assembly.
Soon after his unanimous election, Khader was led to the Speaker’s Chair by CM Siddu, Deputy CM Shivakumar and former CM Basavaraj Bommai. Later Siddharamaiah and Bommai delivered the congratulatory address and wished the new Speaker.
In other proceedings of the day, Chief Minister Siddharamaiah introduced his Cabinet members (8 Ministers) to the House.