Congress’ UT Khader files nomination for Karnataka speaker
Ex-Karnataka minister and five-time lawmaker UT Khader on Tuesday filed nomination papers for the post of Speaker in the newly elected Karnataka Assembly. Chief minister Siddaramaiah and deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar – who was sworn in Saturday – accompanied the 53-year-old Khader.
The Congress secured a big win in the 2023 Karnataka Assembly election – the Bharatiya Janata Party was trounced by 135 seats to 66 – and has been slowly buildings its administrative and legislative team since, with eight MLAs sworn in as ministers alongside Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar.
The party reportedly considered several options before opting for Khader to become the presiding authority of the new Assembly; these names included RV Deshpande, HK Patil and TB Jayachandra, Congress lawmakers from the Haliyal, Gadag and Sira constituencies. Deshpande was the pro-tem Speaker for the three-day session that began Monday so the new members could take oaths.
Khader is the MLA from the Mangalore Assembly segment – a seat he has held since the 2007 byelection. If his nomination proceeds as expected he will be the state’s youngest Speaker.
The Congress MLA holds a law degree and served as the health, food and civil supplies minister during Siddaramaiah’s first term as chief minister – between 2013 and 2018. He was also housing and urban development minister in the short-lived Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition that formed after the 2018 election.