Bengaluru: Two days after K R Ramesh Kumar resigned, Senior BJP leader Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri was yesterday unanimously elected the 22nd Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
Since the Congress and JDS did not field a candidate, Hedge, a six-time MLA, was elected unanimously.
K R Ramesh Kumar resigned from the post on Monday after Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa moved a confidence motion and proved majority.
Although former Speaker K G Bopaiah’s name was doing the rounds, Kageri was picked. He is a staunch RSS, who began his political career with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.
The election procedure was conducted by Deputy Speaker Krishna Reddy. Yediyurappa proposed Kageri’s name and it was seconded by BJP’s Basvaraj Bommai. Kageri was elected through a voice vote, after which he was escorted to the Speaker’s chair by the Chief Minister Yediyurappa and Congress Legislature party leader Siddaramaiah.
Following his appointment, Kageri thanked the members of the House. Reacting to some people commenting over his Sangh Parivar links, Kageri said, “I’m what I’m today is because what I have learned from the sangh… Some people have spoken about Hindutva ideology of the organization I come from. The Supreme Court itself had said Hindutva is a way of life…. it is a symbol of our nationality.”
Congratulating Kageri, Siddaramaiah referred to Kageri’s RSS and ABVP association. He said that Kageri will not have that infection now and that he would be non-partisan from here on.
The previous speaker Ramesh Kumar too said RSS’ belief in Manuwada was in contrast to Ambedkar’s philosphopy of inclusiveness. But although there were difference in ideologies, Kumar said he appreciated the simplicity and the conduct of RSS workers.
Following this several BJP leaders defended RSS and its ideology. They said that RSS completely believes in inclusiveness and unity.