Ministers give Karnataka a porn identity

Wednesday, 8 February 2012 - 10:24am IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA
Co-operation minister Lakshman Savadi and women & child development minister CC Patil caught watching rape video in Karnataka assembly.

The sanctity of the Karnataka assembly was desecrated on Tuesday when two ministers were caught on camera watching a sleazy video clip on their mobile phone while the house was discussing serious issues of public concern.

Co-operation minister Lakshman Savadi and women and child development minister CC Patil were caught watching porn clips by TV cameras. The footage was later aired by Kannada TV channels, shocking those who watched it.

The telecast of the scenes of the two ministers watching the porn clips triggered a furore not only in the political arena, but on the streets, too, as the opposition demanded immediate sacking of the ministers, while activists of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike and other outfits staged a protest opposite Savadi’s house in Bangalore.

A power shutdown was affected in Athani, Savadi’s home town, even as TV channels started airing the footage. It is being alleged that the authorities deliberately shut down power to prevent people from watching the footage on TV.

When questioned about his conduct, Savadi defended himself by stating that it was not a porn clip, but the clip of an incident that occurred in Iran, where four men raped a girl after a rave party and then murdered her.

Explaining the background, he said, “I witnessed a heated debate throughout the day in the legislative council about the rave party that happened in St Mary’s island, where foreigners reportedly engaged in vulgar acts in the name of beach tourism. When I arrived in the assembly to reply to a calling attention motion, women and child development minister CC Patil asked me about the proceedings in the legislative council. I narrated the debate about the rave party and its bad influence on society. Just then Krishna Palemar, who is also the district in-charge minister of Dakshina Kannada, showed a clip of one such rave party held in Iran, where four youth had raped a girl and then murdered her brutally.”

Savadi further said that he, along with Patil, then watched the clip on Palemar’s mobile to understand how such rave parties incite the youth to commit heinous sex crimes.

Rejecting the demand for his resignation, Savadi said, “I have not committed any act that necessitates my resignation. I will not quit.” He even denied that he had violated the rules of assembly by using the mobile in the house by stating that he was just watching a clip and not engaged in a conversation over the phone.
CC Patil, too, said that it was not the clip of any blue film as reported by the media, but the clip of a rape and murder that happened in Iran.

Chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda, who was out of Bangalore to participate in a programme in Chikmagalur district when the incident occurred, struggled to reply to a barrage of questions from the media. “I have no specific information on the issue now. I will react after getting complete details,” he said.

According to party sources, the BJP high command late on Tuesday night has reportedly sought the resignation of the two ministers. A formal decision is expected to be announced any time. The incident has severely embarrassed the BJP and the RSS leadership. Sadananda Gowda discussed the issue with state BJP president KS Eshwarappa late on Tuesday night.

According to sources, strong action is being contemplated against the two ministers in the light of the fact the party image has already taken a beating after a series of scams scalped many ministers, including former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa.

Savadi stands on a weak ground in the light of the fact that use of cell phones in the assembly is banned. Though the code of conduct for assembly members does not have any specific penal action for violating the guidelines, it is an issue of moral responsibility.

It would also be illegal if environment minister Krishna Palemar circulated the clip to others. But Savadi later stated that Palemar had not shared it with him. “I watched the clip using Palemar’s cellphone, which was sent to him by someone,” Savadi said.
Speaker KG Bopaiah is empowered to initiate suitable action; however, such possibilities are slim under the present circumstances.

Anyone could file a case against the two ministers, but any action could be initiated only with consent of the speaker.

“The principle of jurisprudence says that one should re-examine the facts, even if you have seen it through your own eyes. I will verify the facts and decide the future course of action. Using cell phones in the assembly is wrong, but it is not in the assembly rule book, as mobile phones were non-existent when the rules were framed.


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