Bengaluru, May 21: Senior Congress leaders in Karnataka, who are being offered the Speaker's post in the new Assembly, are unwilling to take the responsibility, sources have said, adding that a fear of jinx surrounds the post.
Series of leaders who became Speakers in Karnataka have lost elections and their political careers ended. The jinx continued with the defeat of Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri, the former Speaker in the ruling BJP government. His defeat shocked the party and Kageri was distraught as the defeat had raised the question on his strengths as a strong leader.
Political experts maintain that since 2004, whoever sat on the coveted post have suffered severe setbacks in their political careers.
Krishna from K.R. Pet constituency, who was the Speaker in S.M. Krishna-led Congress government in 2004 lost the election in 2008.
Senior Congressman Kagodu Thimmappa, who donned the role of Speaker in 2013 lost subsequent elections in 2018. K.B. Koliwad, five term member of assembly, who was speaker in 2016 lost general elections in 2018 and also lost by-polls in 2019.
Rameshkumar, who was the speaker in Congress - JD(S) government in 2018, lost election in the May 10 election.
Congress party is finding it difficult to convince seniors for the post. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had announced that veteran Congress leader R.V. Deshpande will become pro rata Speaker and new speaker would be elected in the three-day maiden session starting from Monday.
Sources in Congress said that Dr. G. Parameshwara straight away rejected the offer and was made a cabinet minister. The party is contemplating to make any one from the seniors like T.B. Jayachandra, H.K. Patil, B.R. Patil and Y.N. Gopalakrishna as speaker. None of them, however, are interested, sources said.
Jayachandra, who had lost his seat to BJP in 2019 bypolls, had emerged victorious this time. H.K. Patil is a prominent Lingayat leader from Gadag, and is considered for plum cabinet berth. And so is B.R. Patil from the Aland constituency.
Former CM Jagadish Shettar and senior BJP leader K.G. Bopaiah, who were the speakers in the BJP government in Karnataka, lost in the recently concluded Assembly polls, thereby facing setbacks in their political careers.
All the leaders, who are being offered the post, are maintaining that they would prefer to remain MLAs rather than become the Speaker, Congress sources said.
Eying plum cabinet berths other than Speaker is one of the reason, but mainly it is the fear of jinx that is seeing them refuse the responsibility, sources said.
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