Bangalore: Allowing TV
channels to cover the legislature proceedings from the visitors'
gallery cost the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in
Karnataka dear, as their video cameras caught its two ministers
watching porn in the assembly.
The state legislature secretariat, which for security reasons
banned video and photo journalists from covering the proceedings
from the margins of the house, however, allowed them to record the
current 10-day session from the visitors' gallery on the first
floor of the Vidhan Soudha.
Video journalists of two-three Kannada news channels, covering the
proceedings from a vantage point in the gallery, noticed ministers
Laxman Savadi and C.C. Patil glued to a mobile handset and zoomed
their cameras to focus on what they were viewing.
A close look and replay of the video footage showed the duo
sitting together and watching sleaze on a mobile handset belonging
to fellow minister J. Krishna Palemar. All three have now quitn
their ministerial positions.
Use of cell phones is prohibited in the state legislature when the
assembly and the council are in session. Mobile jammers inside in
the monolithic building, however, have not been working due to a
snag that remained unattended for weeks by the secretariat staff.
According to reports in the local media, the porn clipping, called
'Abik', is a mobile phone movie (3GPP imported file) of four
minute, 12 seconds.
Parts of the remaining footage, beamed later by local and national
channels throughout the night, were blurred.
The video clip has been in circulation in Hubli-Dharwad, about 480
km from Bangalore, over the last couple of months.
Savadi, a BJP lawmaker from Athni constituency in Belgaum
district, about 500 km from here, was minister for cooperation and
agriculture marketing and Patil, another ruling party lawmaker
from Nargund segment in Gadag district, was minister for women and
Incidentally, Palemar's mobile phone -- which Savadi and Patil
used for alleged porn viewing -- also had a video clipping of the
rave party held late Saturday (Feb 4) on St.Mary's Island at Malpe
off the state's west coast, which too showed foreign tourists,
including hippies having drinks, drugs and indulging in obscene
Ironically, the rave party on the island near Udupi, about 400 km
from here, was sponsored by the state government for promoting
tourism in the coastal region.