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Congress again attacks K'taka governor, says may challenge speaker's appointment

New Delhi [India] May 18: In yet another attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over government formation in Karnataka, Congress on Friday accused Governor Vajubhai Vala of "encountering the Constitution" by appointing KG Bopaiah as pro-tem speaker instead of a senior most MLA.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "The Governor has once again launched an encounter on the Constitution by appointing KG Bopaiah as pro tem Speaker instead of the senior most MLA. Appointment of KG Bopaiah as pro tem Speaker violates constitutional traditions and parliamentary practices."

Vala on Friday appointed Bopaiah as pro-tem speaker ahead of floor test tomorrow in the state assembly, breaking the convention of appointing the senior-most legislator.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court ruled that a floor test should be conducted on Saturday at 4 pm for the BJP to prove their majority in the Karnataka assembly.

Bopaiah is a senior BJP leader and had won from the Virajpet seat in Karnataka. He had secured 77,944 votes and defeated Congress candidate Arun Machaiah by 13,353 votes in the recently-concluded assembly election, winning for the fourth time.

The Congress spokesperson further hit out at Union Minister and Karnataka BJP in-charge Prakash Javadekar, saying the latter is speaking a thousand lies to hide one.

The statement came after Javadekar said that the appointment of Bopaiah was as per the rules and regulations and that the Congress was raising a "hoax objection."
On being asked if Congress will challenge BJP MLA KG Bopaiah's appointment as pro tem Speaker, Surjewala said, "We will be able to inform you in a short while. Yes, the option of going back to Court is open."

The BJP has 104 MLAs but they are still short of the simple majority mark of 113 by nine MLAs and have been given 24 hours to prove the same in the Karnataka assembly by the apex court tomorrow.
However, if two 'missing' Congress MLAs do not get to vote tomorrow, the halfway mark will fall to 111.

On the other hand, Congress (78 seats) and JD-S (37 seats), along with two independent candidates have formed a post-poll alliance and are staking a claim to form the government in Karnataka, with a total of 115 MLAs.

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