Former minister and Congress MLA U.T. Khader is likely to become the Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
As the seniors declined to accept the post saying that they would rather continue as MLAs, the high command managed to convince Khader for the role, according to sources.
Khader is likely to submit his nomination papers on Tuesday, the sources said. The deadline for submission of nomination papers will end by Tuesday 12 p.m.
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The House will elect the Speaker on May 24 and he is most likely to be elected unanimously as per traditions. Khader is a soft-spoken politician who got elected from Mangaluru (Ullal) constituency five times.
He served as Minister for Health and Food Supply in the Congress government headed by Siddaramaiah in 2013. He also worked as the deputy leader of the Opposition party in the state Assembly.
Veteran leaders R.V. Deshpande, T.B. Jayachandra, and H.K. Patil were shortlisted by the party for the Speaker’s post. However, the seniors flatly refused the proposal. Deshpande went to the extent of saying that he does not deserve the post.
AICC Secretary K.C. Venugopal and Karnataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala personally spoke to Khader and requested him to take up the post in the interest of the party. They also assured him that the party will give due recognition to him, the sources said.
Later, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also spoke to him and convinced him. Though Khader comes from communally sensitive Dakshina Kannada, he has neither made a provocative statement nor indulged in hate speech. He has won the confidence of all sections of society cutting across the religions.
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