BJP legislators take oath, Shettar to be speaker (Lead)

June 4th, 2008 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, June 4 (IANS) The Karnataka assembly Wednesday began its first session with members taking oath in the name of god, farmers and, in the case of some, their leaders. Pro-tem speaker K.G. Bopaiah overruled objections from the Congress to members taking the oath in the name of their leaders.

B.S. Yeddyurappa, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) first chief minister in the country’s south, was the first to take oath — in the name of god and farmers.

Following him was Mallikarjun Kharge of the Congress. Kharge is the leader of the opposition. The Congress won 80 seats in the 225-member house.

The BJP will get its first speaker in Karnataka Thursday when Jagadish Shettar, a senior leader from north Karnataka, will be formally declared elected to the post.

Shettar Wednesday filed his nomination papers. The Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), which has 28 members in the house, have not fielded any candidate, making Shettar’s election inevitable.

Shettar, a four-time legislator from Dharwad, had refused to accept the speaker’s post because he was keen on a ministerial berth. His supporters had staged protests and burnt a bus in his hometown over his exclusion from the Yeddyurappa ministry sworn in May 30.

He was persuaded by the party’s central leadership to take up the post.

Ahead of the session, Yeddyurappa met JD-S president and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda and his son and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and sought their cooperation for the smooth running of the government.

The new chief minister had met Kharge Tuesday.

The BJP won 110 seats in last month’s polls but secured a majority to form the government with the help of six independents, five of who are now cabinet ministers.

Governor Rameshwar Thakur will address the joint sitting of the two houses of the legislature Friday after which Yeddyurappa will seek the trust vote in the assembly.

Yeddyurappa is likely to assign the ministries after Friday’s trust vote.

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