M A I N   N E W S

Ruckus in Karnataka House over porngate
Ministers quit office; Not enough: Oppn
Shubhadeep Choudhury/TNS

Bangalore, February 8
Despite resignation from their ministerial positions by three ministers involved in watching sleaze video inside the Karnataka Assembly, the House today witnessed huge ruckus created by opposition parties over the issue, forcing the Speaker KG Bopaiah to adjourn the Assembly sine die.

Bopaiah also announced setting up of a five-member House committee to look into what is being described by local TV channels here as “porngate”. 

The accused trio, who resigned from their ministerial posts this morning, has been asked to submit their replies by February 13. The committee is supposed to give its report to the Speaker by March 13. The MLAs have been barred from attending the Assembly sessions till the verdict of the House committee is given.

But the committee seems to have hit a roadblock right upon its inception. Congress and JD (S) MLAs were seen tearing to shreds the notification circulated by the Assembly staff inside the House regarding the formation of the committee. 

The Speaker has asked the leaders of the opposition parties in the House to nominate their representatives for the committee.

The day began with Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda securing the resignations of Laxman Savadi, minister for cooperation and agricultural marketing, CC Patil, minister for women and child development and Krishna Palemar, minister for environment, ecology and ports. 

This was done before the Assembly session was to commence at 11 am with the hope that it would pre-empt any Opposition-engineered trouble for the ruling party in the Assembly over watching of sleaze video on a mobile by Savadi and Patil in the Assembly yesterday while the House proceedings were on.

As could be expected, Congress and JD (S) were not satisfied with the ministers’ resignations and demanded they must be disqualified from the House by the Speaker. They also demanded that the government must call it quits over the issue.

After several adjournments resulting from Opposition members running to the Well of the House, towards the evening, Speaker Bopaiah announced setting up of a House committee and then announced the House’s adjournment sine die.

Savadi and Patil were yesterday caught on camera watching salacious video clips on a mobile phone while the Assembly was in session. The phone apparently belonged to Krishna Palemar. 

Private TV channels are allowed to beam the entire proceedings of Karnataka Assembly when the House is in session. The TV cameras picked up the visuals on the display screen of mobile being held by Savadi. Patil, sitting beside Savadi, was also seen craning his neck to have a look at what appeared to be sleazy acts enacted by women.

The trio told reporters here that they were tendering their resignations to save the party’s image. Ironically, in January this year, CC Patil assumed a high moral ground on women’s wear, saying, “I personally don’t favour women wearing provocative clothes and always feel they need to be dignified in whatever they wear.”
Demonstrations were today held in various parts of Karnataka including Koppal and Mysore to protest against the ministers’ conduct. In Athani, Savadi’s constituency, a total bandh was observed following a call given by the Congress and JD (S).





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