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Sunday 22 January 2017
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Two BJP ministers caught watching porn in Assembly

Huge embarrassment for State government

In a severe embarrassment to the ruling BJP government, Co-operation Minister Lakshman Savadi and Women and Child Development Minister C C Patil on Tuesday were ''caught'' by television cameras watching sexually explicit video on a cellphone inside the Assembly during a debate.

KPN PhotoAround 5:15 pm, the two ministers were seen engrossed in a pornographic clip when the Assembly was discussing the incident of hoisting of a Pakistan flag in Sindagi town in Bijapur district and other issues.

Private television camera crew covering the legislature proceedings from the visitors’ gallery of the Assembly caught the two ministers off guard. Patil, sitting beside Savadi, was seen leaning over to catch a glimpse of the video on Savadi’s mobile.

The incident, which dented the dignity of the Assembly, happened when the ruling BJP was at the receiving end throughout the day in the legislature over a “fun” music festival allowed at St Mary’s island near Udupi last week in which hundreds of foreign tourists participated.

The Opposition had hounded the saffron party that in the name of tourism, foreigners were allowed to consume unlimited liquor, drugs and indulge in sexual excesses. But Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda vehemently denied any indecent incident at the festival.

The Central leaders of the BJP, embarrassed at the incident, reacted cautiously in New Delhi, saying that “action” will be initiated after getting a report. Legislature rules prohibit use of cellphones inside the Assembly hall. A few years ago the legislature secretariat had installed cellphone jammers in the Assembly but the jamming device was not working on Tuesday, according to official sources.

In the images aired by a host of Kannada news channels as soon as the Assembly adjourned in the evening, Savadi was seen holding his cellphone below his desk and watching the clip. Close-up shots of the video on Savadi’s mobile show a young woman in a black saree and blouse undressing and covering up again while dancing. She was seen throwing away a saree which she had worn. The rest of the clip was blurred out by the TV channels. Another clip being watched by Savadi showed a woman and a man in a sexual act.

However, both ministers have denied that they were watching porn and ruled out tendering their resignations. Savadi said he was watc hing a video on atrocities being committed on women. “The mobile belonged to (Ports Minister) Krishna Palemar, who wanted us to see the state of affairs in other countries. The video shows a woman being raped by four people. I was horrified. I was definitely not watching any porn. Why should we watch such clippings in the Assembly?” he asked.

Patil said he was watching a video about an Iranian woman being raped. “Soon the clip ended and I switched off the phone,” he said. The opposition Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) described the ministers’ act as a “black mark” in the history of the Assembly and sought the duo’s resignations.

They demanded that in case they don’t quit on their own, the chief minister should immediately dismiss. The Opposition is planning to raise the matter when the House resumes on Wednesday morning. Pro-Kannada organisations held protests outside Savadi’s ministerial bungalow in Bangalore.

 

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