Political Pickle

Karnataka Assembly Speaker does a Salman Khan

It is not known if Ramesh Kumar, the Speaker of the Karnataka assembly, is a Salman Khan fan. But given his conduct so far, it would not be surprising if he is one.

In the Hindi film `Wanted’, one of Salman’s popular dialogues is “Ek baar jo maine commitment kar di, to main khud ki bhi nahi sunta” (Once I commit to something, I don’t even listen to myself). Ramesh Kumar seems to be in the same mould given that in his zeal to supervise the Trust vote moved by chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, he has neither cared for the Supreme court nor the Governor of Karnataka.

Read : The night of the floor test in Karnataka

The Supreme court while allowing the Speaker the discretion to decide how much time to take on the resignations submitted by Congress and JD(S) rebel MLAs, expected that he will do so in a reasonable amount of time. But Ramesh Kumar has shown no urgency to take a decision. While the Supreme court had said the rebel MLAs have the choice of attending or not attending the Trust vote session which meant the party whip became meaningless, Ramesh Kumar said all parties will be allowed to apply their whip during the Trust vote. 

Speaker Ramesh Kumar (photo courtesy : Nagarjun Dwarkanath’s Twitter handle)

Similarly, the Speaker ignored Governor Vajubhai Vala’s letter to the chief minister asking him to ensure the Trust vote is finished by 1:30 pm on Friday. Ramesh Kumar by permitting the speeches to go on, showed he is the boss of the House. He allowed the Congress and JD(S) MLAs the platform of the Assembly to level allegations of bribery against BJP leaders.

What Ramesh Kumar also has in common with Salman Khan is his love for acting. A popular TV serial actor, his claim to fame is the role of the chief minister he essayed in Kannada serial `Manvantara’ aired on ETV around 2003. He has acted in several television soaps after that, mostly playing the role of a politician. 

His political career in Srinivaspur in Kolar district has been equally filmy. The constituency since 1983, has seen a political battle between  Ramesh Kumar and his arch rival GK Venkata Shiva Reddy. In every election since then, either Ramesh Kumar has won and Reddy has come second or vice versa. In ten elections, Ramesh Kumar has won six times and lost four times. 

On the floor of the House, despite the tense situation and the angry exchanges, Ramesh Kumar has not lost his wit. He quipped that he was caught between the former, incumbent and the future CM of Karnataka. 

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