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Business News/ News / India/  Karnataka Assembly: Meet U T Khader, the new speaker. All you need to know

Karnataka Congress MLA U T Khader shone as the Deputy Leader of the Opposition during the 15th Karnataka Assembly, which was replaced by a new Assembly after the May 10 elections. Known for his calm and composed demeanor, the 53-year-old MLA from Mangalore became the prime focus of the party during the last few Assembly sessions. Despite being considered a strong contender for a ministerial position in the new Congress government, Khader's surprise nomination came as the new Assembly Speaker.

During his time in the Assembly, Khader fearlessly addressed various issues affecting the public, often challenging the BJP government led by Basavaraj Bommai. He battled the government on several occasions on the floor of the Assembly, often when top party leaders such as then Leader of the Opposition and current Chief Minister Siddaramaiah were absent. 

He frequently raised concerns about minority welfare, including the BJP's biased condolences for victims of communal violence and right-wing groups' attempts to communalize issues.

“A few of the actions of the government show that this government does not have good intentions. All their activities and statements and actions are focused on the polarisation of society. The actions of the CM and the home minister clearly show that they are controlled by other organisations," Khader said last year as the BJP and allied organisations tried to communalise Muslim practices such as prayer calls and the use of meat certified as Halal, as quoted by Indian Express.

Khader was among the rare politicians, apart from H D Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal (Secular), who last year criticised the BJP government after the CM visited the homes of members of the majority community and avoided the families of religious minorities after incidents of communal murders. “This clearly shows that the government has a separate policy for minorities in the state and for their party workers there is a separate policy. They are not working according to the constitution and their clear-cut agenda is evident in their actions," said the MLA.

Khader is widely known to have a non-confrontational attitude outside the legislature, building bridges across communities and the political divide to achieve goals. Khader served as the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Deputy LoP) between February 2022 and March.

This unexpected turn of events places Khader in a position of power and influence within the Assembly, where he will now preside over proceedings and ensure fair debates and discussions among the members. 


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Updated: 24 May 2023, 10:10 AM IST
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