BJP's porngate

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) liked to boast itself as a ‘party with a difference.’ The BJP, which was voted to power in Karnataka in 2008, is proving to be not only ‘different,’ but a party with many shady shades.

It would be a gross understatement to say that the two BJP ministers, Lakshman Savadi and C C Patil, who were caught watching sexually explicit video on a cellphone inside the state Assembly during its proceedings on Tuesday, have lowered the dignity and decorum of the House.

The two ministers, along with the third, Krishna Palemar, who allegedly sent the sleazy video clip to Savadi’s cellphone, have not only brought shame on the six-month-old D V Sadananda Gowda government, but caused considerable disgust among the people about the behaviour and calibre of their elected representatives.

Savadi and Patil’s defence that they were watching “a video on atrocities being committed on women” and not a pornographic film clip were blown to pieces by the television channels which went to town with the ministers’ antics on the floor of the Assembly. A highly embarrassed central leadership of the BJP has done well to obtain the resignations of all the three ministers, but the party’s image is irrevocably tarnished.

For all the high moral pitch the BJP and its fountainhead, the RSS adopt publicly, the quality of legislators the party has got elected this time, is indeed shocking. If excise minister Renukacharya’s name figured in a sex scandal before he became a minister, another minister Hartal Halappa was forced to quit after rape charges were levelled against him.

The BJP’s rogues’ gallery also includes Katta Subramanya Naidu, Janardhana Reddy and Krishnaiah Setty who resigned as ministers following serious corruption charges and to top it all, B S Yeddyurappa made a disgraceful exit as chief minister after many land scandals landed him before courts of law. The party has also been riven by dissent and defections and for all practical purposes, it is only power that is holding it together.

Sadananda Gowda has just completed six months as chief minister, but he has hardly been able to administer the state. Yeddyurappa is constantly snapping at his heels, yearning to get back his chair and threatening to destabilise the government if he cannot achieve his aim. After the latest resignations of ministers, Gowda has a total of ten vacancies in his Cabinet and saddled with 19 portfolios. With 15 months to go for elections to the Assembly, Gowda is in an unenviable and sorry situation.

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