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Setback for BJP as three 'porngate' ministers quit

BS Reporter  |  Chennai/ Bangalore 

The three ministers from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Karnataka resigned on Wednesday after two of them were caught on TV cameras while watching an obscene video clip on a mobile handset in the state legislative assembly during the session on Tuesday.

A communiqué from Raj Bhavan said that governor had accepted the resignations of Cooperation & Agricultural Marketing Minister Laxman Savadi, Women & Child Development Minister and Minister for Environment, Ecology & Ports on the recommendation of chief minister

The party’s national president had directed the state unit president last night to seek their resignations immediately. Acting on his advice, the state unit of the party sought their resignations this morning. Savadi and Patil were caught on camera yesterday while they were viewing the porn video footage inside the state assembly during the proceedings. While Palemar was showing them the video clipping of the rave party held in Malpe beach recently.

All three resigned after overnight pressure on them from party high command and state leadership in order to avoid disruption of the state assembly session, which started on January 30, 2012. The chief minister, however, claimed that the three ministers resigned voluntarily.

“We have resigned to avoid embarrassment to our party and not give the opposition a flimsy excuse to disrupt the assembly proceedings. We are ready to face enquiry by the speaker K G Bopaiah as we did no wrong by watching a video clip of some rave incident in a foreign country to know what a rave party is,” a rattled Savadi told reporters at the party office here.

He said they have also urged the speaker to commission a probe to prove their innocence. The opposition Congress and the Janata

Dal-Secular (JD-S) urged the speaker to expel the three lawmakers as they brought down the dignity of the house by indulging in such a perverted behaviour when use of mobiles are banned in the house, especially during the session.

“Resignation is not adequate. They should be expelled from the assembly. We will insist on their expulsion,” state Congress unit president G Parameshwara told reporters.

The JD(S) also sought immediate disqualification of the trio from the assembly. The two parties have planned to protest in the assembly till the three are expelled.

Admitting that the incident was an embarrassment to the party, BJP’s state unit president said it was unfortunate. “I cannot say it has not caused embarrassment to the party,” Eshwarappa acknowledged.

Meanwhile, Dharwad erupted in protest over the issue. Hardcore workers and RSS cadre in the region were upset with the development. A veteran leader lamented that the party made a mistake by allowing entry of politicians who had no faith in the ideology and principles of “Just to retain power, the BJP resorted to ‘Operation Lotus’ and allowed entry of politicians from other parties.

These outsiders are creating problems for the party and the government”, he rued. This is the general opinion among the RSS cadres also. In C C Patil’s constituency Nargund in Gadag district there were protests by people against the minister cutting across party lines. The town observed bundh to protest C C Patil’s act.

First Published: Thu, February 09 2012. 00:31 IST