BJP MLA uses smartphone in Assembly, sees Priyanka pics

BJP MLA uses smartphone in Assembly, sees Priyanka pics

BJP MLA Prabhu Chavan was seen busy with his smartphone, watching and zooming into a picture of Priyanka Gandhi, daughter of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday while members were engrossed in a discussion on farmers’ problems.

Chavan’s pastime would have gone unnoticed had the television channels covering the proceedings not zoomed in on him. The two-time MLA was caught enlarging and minimising a picture of Priyanka in a tight shirt and formal trousers on his touchscreen phone in an objectionable manner.

The channels also caught him seeing another picture of Priyanka dressed in a green saree. As soon as the footage was aired by the channels, the video clip went viral on social media, with someone even posting it on Chavan’s Facebook page.

Another BJP MLA, U B Banakar, was seen playing Candy Crush game on his mobile during the session. Banakar, while pretending to read the responses given by the government on several issues, was carefully playing the game under the table.

However, it was Chavan’s incident, reminiscent of another incident when three BJP MLAs were caught watching porn in the Assembly, that put the BJP in a tough spot.
Using mobile phones is prohibited inside the House where phone jammers are installed.

Chavan, who hails from the backward district of Bidar, was busy watching the images when JD(S) MLA and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy was speaking on the problems of sugar cane farmers.

Sporting a red tilak on the forehead, Chavan was seated beside BJP MLA Ravi Subramanya. He was seen showing the image to Subramanya who glanced at it but immediately returned him the phone. Within moments of TV channels flashing the video clip, BJP spokesperson Suresh Kumar went into a huddle with Ravi Subramanya and C T Ravi to prepare a defence for Chavan and the party.

Once he realised he was caught, Chavan rushed out. He was accompanied by his party members who coached him on the line of clarification. He was specifically asked to apologise for using mobile phone and not only for watching the pictures.

A nervous Chavan was seen showing the pictures to the party colleagues with shaky hands and justifying that he has not done anything objectionable. Party MLAs were seen cursing his “sense of timing” and making light of the incident.

Chavan told reporters: “I was surfing through a photo gallery of political leaders on my mobile phone. I saw a caption below the photograph of Priyanka Gandhi and hence enlarged the photograph to read it. However, I apologise for watching the photographs inside the House.”

In a similar incident in February 2012, the then BJP MLAs Laxman Savadi, C C Patil, and Krishna Palemar were caught watching porn in the Assembly in Bengaluru. The heat generated by the controversy resulted in all three of them being dropped from the council of ministers. When asked for his reaction, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the incident shows the party’s culture.

Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa said he was not fully aware of the incident. He would consider taking action only after getting a report from the officials. He said in the past, too, the members were warned against using cellphone in the Assembly.
A meeting of the chief minister and leaders of the opposition has been convened on Monday to decide on banning mobile phones in the Assembly, he added.

Leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar said, “There was no pornographic material in the content which Chavan watched. It was an innocent act.” The BJP legislature party, which met in the evening, discussed the incident. “Chavan innocently took out his phone to show pictures of his daughter and son-in-law and their wedding. That is when the pictures appeared on his phone... No action is being considered against him,” he said.

On the day when two north Karnataka MLAs — Chavan and Banakar — ignored the norms of the House, Shettar claimed that the party’s MLAs from the region had geared up to discuss and debate the negligence shown by the government towards their constituencies.
DH News Service

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