The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday fielded senior leader S Suresh Kumar as its candidate for the post of the Karnataka Assembly Speaker, the election for which is scheduled for Friday afternoon, PTI reported.

Kumar, who is in his fifth term as MLA, filed his nomination papers before Assembly Secretary S Murthy at Vidhana Soudha on Thursday. The Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance’s candidate, former Speaker Ramesh Kumar, also filed his nomination papers.

The election for the position is expected to take place at 12.15 pm on Friday. Once the speaker is chosen, the HD Kumaraswamy government will take a trust vote to prove its majority.

Kumaraswamy was sworn in as the chief minister on Thursday, while Congress leader G Parameshwara took oath as his deputy. Kumaraswamy’s Janata Dal (Secular), which won 37 out of the 222 Assembly seats that went to the polls on May 12, has partnered with the Congress, which has 78 seats, to form the government. The BJP won 104 seats, and was invited first to form the government though the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) post-poll alliance had a clear majority.

The alliance moved the Supreme Court against Governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision to invite the BJP. The top court gave BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa a day to prove his majority in the Assembly , but he resigned as chief minister without facing the trust vote.

Suresh Kumar said he has filed his nomination papers based on the direction of the state BJP chief. “Based on the strength of numbers and various other factors, our party leaders have confidence that I will win,” he said. “With that confidence I have filed my nomination.” He was accompanied to the Vidhana Soudha by MLAs CN Ashwathnarayan and Sunil Kumar.

In contrast, Karnataka state Congress chief and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and several other Congress MLAs accompanied Ramesh Kumar. Siddaramaiah claimed Ramesh Kumar’s victory was certain, especially since he was known as a good presiding officer during his previous stint in the post from 1994 to 1999.