Bengaluru: Minutes before Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s trust vote in the Karnataka Assembly today, the BJP changed its mind on contesting for the post of the Speaker and withdrew its candidate Suresh Kumar.
The withdrawal of Suresh Kumar paved way for the Congress nominee K R Ramesh Kumar to win the post unopposed.
"We withdrew our candidate as we wanted the election to be unanimous in order to maintain the dignity of the Speaker's post," said the BJP's B S Yeddyurappa in the assembly.
Many saw it as a barb at the Congress, which had moved the Supreme Court against the election of BJP MLA K G Bopaiah as interim speaker to preside of B S Yeddyurappa's trust vote last Saturday.
The court rejected the Congress's argument that Bopaiah was not suitable for the post as he had been known to break rules to help Yeddyurappa in a past vote.
The trust vote never took place as B S Yeddyurappa resigned after failing to get the numbers needed for a majority.
Today, in a discussion following the Speaker's election, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said: "When Siddaramaiah proposed your (Ramesh Kumar's) name and filed the nomination yesterday, I should have been present too."
His Deputy G Parameshwara "thanked" Suresh Kumar for "taking his advice" and dropping out of the race.
Ramesh Kumar was the Speaker of the house from 1994 to 1999.
Suresh Kumar, a five-time BJP MLA, had earlier said based on numbers and other factors, his party was confident he would win.
The BJP is the single largest party in the Karnataka Assembly with 104 MLAs. The Congress has 78 legislators and Janata Dal Secular has 37.