Opposition goes for the jugular

The issue of three (former) ministers watching porn clippings on their mobile phones in the Assembly on Tuesday consumed the entire time of both the Houses of the Legislature on Wednesday, with the Congress seeking disqualification of the trio and a discussion on the episode.

A ballistic Congress used the choicest words to condemn Lakshman Savadi, C C Patil and Krishna Palemar and demanded the resignation of the BJP government. The JD(S) members were not as vocal as the Congress.

The Congress members said it was better to seek a fresh mandate from the people rather than allow the ‘shameless government’ to continue.

The BJP members, including ministers, made a vain bid to defend the party, though they chose not to go to the rescue of the former ministers who had lowered the dignity of the Assembly.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Siddaramaiah made a futile attempt to move a resolution for the immediate suspension and disqualification of Savadi, Patil and Palemar.
A defiant BJP opposed the Congress’ strategy stating that the rules stipulated that a seven-day notice had to be given before moving a resolution in the House. No legislature proceedings can be held with a deadlock between the ruling and the Opposition parties continuing through the day and the Speaker adjourning the House sine die. The motion of thanks to the Governor’s address was passed by voice vote amid din.

As soon as the Assembly met, more than a hour behind schedule, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda informed the members about the resignations of the three ministers, who were caught on television cameras watching porn clippings on a mobile phone inside the House on Tuesday evening. Siddaramaiah said, “Resigning as ministers is no punishment. The (ministers) should be disqualified for the rest of the term of the Assembly for watching blue film inside the House.”

The proposed resolution also urged the Speaker to allow the police to file criminal charges against them under Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code for watching pornographic material.

State BJP president K S Eshwarappa objected to the use of the word “blue film” and said only an inquiry would reveal whether the trio was watching obscene clippings. Eshwarappa was supported by BJP legislators even as the Opposition members shouted: “Shame, shame”.

With no meeting point between the ruling and the Congress members, the House eventually was adjourned sine die.

The scene was ditto in the Council, with the Congress and the JD(S) stalling the proceedings of the House. for not being allowed to debate Tuesday’s episode.

After much coaxing, Chairman D H Shankarmurthy allowed Congress leader Motamma to make her statement. She said, “The BJP has justified both Komuvada and Kamavada.”
When the BJP members hit back, the Congress and the JD (S) members trooped into the well of the House. As the chaos continued, the House was adjourned.

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