Karnataka updates: Assembly session begins today; new speaker to be elected

Senior Congress leader RV Deshpande will be the pro-tem Speaker

PTI05_21_2023_000190A Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with his deputy DK Shivakumar during a programme to pay tribute to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on his death anniversary in Bengaluru | PTI

The first Karnataka Legislative Assembly session will be held on Monday which will see newly elected MLAs being sworn-in. The three-day session will also witness the election of the new speaker. 

The first session after the new Congress government assumed power in the southern state will also see Senior Congress leader RV Deshpande as the pro-tem Speaker. 

"We are calling the Assembly session for three days -- Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we are requesting the Governor, because the new Assembly has to be constituted before May 24. Senior-most MLA R V Deshpande has been requested to be the Pro-tem Speaker," chief minister Siddaramaiah told reporters. 

Besides Siddaramaiah and deputy chief minister D K Shivakumar, eight Congress MLAs were also sworn in as ministers in the Karnataka Cabinet during the oath-taking ceremony in Bengaluru.

Meanwhile, speculations regarding Cabinet expansion have gained strength with Shivakumar hinting that the expansion would take place this week. This comes as senior Congress leaders, including Dinesh Gundu Rao, publicly expressed their unhappiness over being left out of the new government, reported Deccan Herald.

The new Cabinet is likely to have 25-28 ministers but only eight have been sworn in allegedly due to the differences between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar. 

However, the major decision will come up after the MLAs are sworn in. "By May 24, the old Assembly will have to be dissolved. We’ve already spoken to the Governor about this. First, all MLAs have to take oath," Shivakumar was quoted by Deccan Herald.

Among the aspirants are Gundu Rao, a former KPCC president, and former minister Basavaraj Rayareddi. While Rao has made his aspirations known, Lingayat leader Rayareddi has held meetings with Siddaramaiah. Former ministers Rudrappa Lamani and C Puttarangashetty too have demanded that they be considered for Cabinet positions.

Zero traffic protocol 

Chief minister Siddaramaiah has asked Bengaluru police to take back zero traffic protocol for him. The decision comes in the wake of traffic issues plaguing Bengaluru.

"I have asked Bengaluru City Police Commissioner to take back the 'Zero Traffic' protocol for my vehicular movement," Siddaramaiah tweeted. "I have taken the decision after seeing the problems faced by the people travelling along the stretch where there are restrictions due to 'zero traffic'," he added.


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