Savadi, Patil of 'Porngate' fame back in Cabinet

Chandrakantagouda Channappagouda Patil

In a move that surprised many, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa inducted former Athani MLA Laxman Savadi and Nargund legislator C C Patil into the Cabinet on Tuesday.

Savadi, Patil and Krishna Palemar had achieved notoriety after they were caught watching a pornographic clip inside the Legislative Assembly in 2012. The trio was then in the Cabinet headed by D V Sadananda Gowda. 

The scandal, christened Porngate, happened in February 2012 and became a major political embarassment for the BJP, which was trying to steady its ship under Gowda, after B S Yediyurappa was imprisoned in a denotification case.

The incident during the budget session of the Legislative Assembly in 2012 forced the MLAs to tender their resignations as ministers, as the scandal attracted widespread criticism across the State.

Subsequently, however, a Legislature Committee set up to probe the scandal exonerated two of them, while recommending censure of the third. 

Inducting Savadi is being seen as an attempt to rein in Belagavi strongmen Umesh Katti and the Jarkiholi brothers. Besides, it is said that making Savadi a minister would assist the party in facing bye-elections to Athani and Kagwad constituencues whose incumbent Congress MLAs have been disqualified.

Besides, Savadi played a role in the 'Operation Lotus' that toppled the Congress-JD(S) coalition.

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