Analysis: 'Porn Clip' Notorious Trio's Sleaze Acts - Setback for DVS, Yeddy

Gabriel Vaz
Daijiworld Media Network - Bangalore

Bangalore, Feb 8: The 'voluntary' resignations or 'sacking' of the trio of Cabinet ministers - Laxman Savadi, C C Patil and Krishna Palemar – is not just a shameful embarrassment to the ruling BJP not just in Karnataka but even at the national level as they were caught red-handed watching porn clips on mobile phone inside the Karnataka legislative assembly, when it was discussing the plight of farmers due to drought conditions.
 
But, more importantly, the sleazy and brazen act of the three saffron stalwarts of watching ''blue” film clips on mobile phone has turned out to be a big setback to Karnataka’s ever-smiling Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, who was chosen to replace B S Yeddyurappa over the Lokayukta report on illegal mining and other charges of corruption, because of his clean image.

Though the trio of Laxman Savadi-C C Patil-Krishna Palemar, who sought to brush off the criticism for watching porn clips on mobile phone inside the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday despite being ''caught” in the act, claimed that they had ''voluntarily” resigned to avoid embarrassment to the ruling party and the government in the State and at the national level, which was supported by Gowda, it is an open secret that the BJP high command had ordered that the threesome be served the marching orders.

As is widely known, Savadi had claimed that he had not watched porn clips on the mobile but had viewed the sordid clips of so-called rape of an Iranian woman and her brutal murder when he inquired with the Dakshina Kannada district in-charge minister Palemar ''in order to learn about the recent controversial rave party held in the St Mary’s Island, off the temple city of Udupi” and the latter had showed him video clips he had received on his mobile. Savadi had claimed that the mobile handset in question did not belong to him but belonged to Palemar.

Incidentally, the third actor in the sordid affair C C Patil, who sat next to Savadi, was caught for sneaking a look at the video clips on the mobile handset held by Savadi.

Naturally, the trio had to pay the price and was forced to put in their papers in less than 24 hours, after the scandal broke out.

In the meanwhile, the Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah, who himself was a target of opposition attacks and demands for resignation over the Supreme Court’s scathing remarks on his decision to disqualify the anti-Yeddyurappa MLAs of BJP and Independents, has placed the three ex-ministers under ''temporary suspension” till March 12 – the deadline given to a six-member house committee constituted to submit its probe report – and also served show cause notices by February 13. However, opposition Congress and JD(S) members have demanded that the trio must be disqualified from their membership of the House as mere sacking as ministers was no punishment.

With the State Assembly session, which was abruptly adjourned even before the motion of thanks to the Governor for his address to the joint session of the State Legislature was adopted, due to meet again next month for the budget session and even the parliament due to meet next month for the union general and railway budgets, and the crucial assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and three other states now underway, the BJP national leadership had no other alternative but to take immediate action to contain the damage.
 
The scandal, however, has come at a most inappropriate time for the former chief minister Yeddyurappa, who is moving heaven and earth for his rehabilitation either as the State’s Chief Minister or at least as the State BJP President. This is more so in view of the fact that two of the three – Laxman Savadi and C C Patil – are staunch supporters of Yeddyurappa belonging to the latter’s Lingayat community and hail from north Karnataka. The third sacked minister Palemar is from coastal Dakshina Kannada and is considered a supporter of the present Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda.

That Yeddyurappa was involved in the confabulations involving Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, his predecessor Yeddyurappa and State BJP President K S Eshwarappa along with other stalwarts including State RSS leaders since last night, is indicative of the fact that none of them could defend the actions or save any of them – even if they wished.

Of course, Yeddyurappa had faced even more serious embarrassment when his blue-eyed boy Hartalu Halappa from Shimoga district, who was used to wrest the former Congress Chief Minister S Bangarappa’s Soraba stronghold and was rewarded with a cabinet berth, was involved in raping the wife of his own friend in their house after getting himself ''invited” for dinner. But Halappa was not immediately asked to quit and tried his best to hold on to his post with indirect backing from the then Chief Minister. Another cabinet minister M P Renukacharya, who was elevated as minister much later by Yeddyurappa, had another sordid love-hate relationship with nurse Jayalakshmi and finally managed to patch-up. In addition, Yeddyurappa had to drop a couple of other ministers as well.

However, D V Sadananda Gowda, who sought to break from the past and enhance the ruling party’s battered image on the strength of his clean record and steady refusal to get involved in any irregularity or scams, has now been forced to suffer the humiliation of sacking three of his cabinet colleagues in one go for no fault of his. The incident involving the three persons, who held the important portfolios of Cooperation, Women and Child Welfare and Ports and Fishers, has certainly come as a big setback for his government and personal image.

Whether the trio manage to prove their innocence, especially after being caught watching the porn clips on the mobile handsets by TV cameras inside the Assembly – which is perhaps the first of its kind in the country’s parliamentary history, in the six-member inquiry ordered by the Speaker and how the ruling party manage to salvage its image, is a big question. Apart from the damage to the image of the ruling party and the chief minister, how the incident affects the future of Yeddyurappa is another factor worth watching.