Yeddyurappa stands by disgraced ministers

The timing of the porn episode that cost the three ministers –– Lakshman Savadi, C C Patil and J Krishna Palemar –– their jobs on Wednesday could not have come at a worse time for the State BJP.

A day after television cameras caught Savadi and Patil watching the porn video on a cellphone belonging to Palemar inside the Assembly, the party tried to launch itself into damage control mode to save its face, but in vain.

The public outcry against the episode was palpable and the Opposition had already gone for the kill.

The party had no option but to seek the resignation of the trio from their posts in the State Cabinet. At the BJP legislature party meeting during the day, former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa is said to have come to the support of the disgraced ministers stating the party should not initiate any action against them. Savadi and Patil are staunch supporters of Yeddyurappa. It was also decided at the meeting, at the instance of Yeddyurappa, that the party legislators should shout down the Opposition from raising the issue of disqualification.

Earlier in the day, a grim-looking Yeddyurappa was seen sitting in the Assembly lobby surrounded by his loyalists. No one spoke.

Party president K S Eshwarappa, who sat at the other end of the lobby, was seen chatting animatedly and laughing. The contrast between the BJP top brass even at the time of crisis points to the deep fissures within the party.

In a desperate move, the BJP, inside the legislature, tried to rake up sex scandals involving Congress leaders, stating that the party too had its own embarrassing episodes.

An enterprising party functionary had even downloaded information regarding sex scandals involving Congress leaders from the internet and had handed out printouts of the same to the legislators.

The list mentioned five Congress leaders including the episode involving N D Tiwari, former governor of Andhra Pradesh, and sacked Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna.

The resignation of the three ministers has taken the total number of vacancies in the State Cabinet to 10. There is bound to be pressure on Gowda to fill them, a task that is not only tricky but also dangerous given the state of affairs in the party.

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