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Karnataka ministers caught watching porn on mobile in assembly

Bangalore: In a huge embarrassment to the BJP government in Karnataka, two ministers were allegedly caught on TV camera watching porn clippings on mobile phone during assembly proceedings in the first such ugly incident in the state legislative history.

KPN PhotoA regional TV channel aired the footage of Minister for Cooperation Laxman Savadi and Minister for Women and Child Development C C Patil allegedly watching the clippings, when the House debated the issue of hoisting of Pakistan national flag in a town in Bijapur district on new year’s day.

The footage telecast also by some regional channels after the assembly adjourned for the day, showed Savadi watching the video and later joined by Patil for a brief while.

Both the ministers, who hail from north Karnataka districts, remained incommunicado, as the episode sparked an outrage with the Opposition demanding their resignation and disqualification of their membership.

Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda, on a tour of Chikmagalur district, said, “It is for the Speaker to take action against the ministers if they are found guilty of watching porn clippings in the assembly,” adding he has not watched the TV footage.
Speaker K G Bopaiah said, “I will look into it. Law will take its own course.”

The legislature secretariat allows private regional channels besides Doordarshan to telecast the proceedings.

Opposition Congress leader Siddaramaiah said both the ministers should quit forthwith or they should be dismissed. The Speaker should not allow them to enter the assembly tomorrow, he added.

Former chief minister and JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy slammed the conduct of the two ministers and said Gowda should drop them and the ministers should be disqualified from the assembly membership.

Legislative Council Chairman D H Shankaramurthy said, “It is disgraceful. This should not have happened.”

The incident could not have come at a worse time for BJP rocked by infighting amid hectic lobbying by B S Yeddyurappa to regain the chief minister’s post or at least become party’s state unit president.

Several BJP leaders, including Yeddyurappa, are also facing corruption cases bringing the first-ever BJP government in the south under a cloud.

Today’s incident comes even as the government is battling the Opposition attack over the recent party held by foreigners in Malpe beach in Udupi district during a government sponsored tourism festival.

Earlier, the BJP had forced H Halappa to quit the ministry when allegations of rape were levelled against him and also claimed Yeddyurappa’s scalp after he was indicted by Lokayukta report on illegal mining.

Former minister Bhalchandra Jarakiholi said he was “disturbed” to hear two of his friends Savadi and Patil allegedly watching porn clippings in the Assembly.

“They should not have done this… The reputation of the Assembly has taken a hit,” he said.

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