Belagavi, Dec 11 (Agencies): After BJP MLA Prabhu Chavan was caught using his mobile to view pictures of Priyanka Gandhi on Wednesday, two Congress leaders were found watching videos while the session was on.
BJP, the opposition party, demanded an apology from Housing Minister and Mandya MLA Ambareesh and Davangere North MLA S S Mallikarjuna, who were caught in the act. It sought suspension of these two MLAs.
Following an uproar on the issue, the Assembly was adjourned till 3 pm.
Ambareesh in his defence said that he never watched any video in mobile phone in the Assembly. "When I saw the phone, the discussion on sugarcane was already over, and my question had also been answered. Mallikarjuna came to me to show some SMS, as he does not know how to operate a mobile phone. But I took him to task for using phone in Assembly and walked away. I have no desire of using mobile phone in the Assembly," he said.
Meanwhile, JD(S) party leader H D Kumaraswamy criticised both the national parties for deviating from the important issues to be discussed in the assembly.
“If the proposal for a ban on mobile phone in the assembly was approved in the last assembly session, such situations would not have come up again,” Kumaraswamy said.
Chaos in assembly over BJP MLA gazing at Priyanka Gandhi's pic
Belagavi Dec 11 (PTI): Karnataka Assembly was today adjourned briefly amid chaos over a BJP MLA watching a zoomed in picture of Priyanka Gandhi on his mobile phone during House proceedings.
As the House assembled, slogan shouting Congress members rushed to the front row of seats, demanding strict action against Prabhu Chavan for the "indecent act" yesterday.
The members said Chavan's "unacceptable" conduct had hurt the dignity of their leader and demanded action against him.
Chavan was caught on TV camera watching a zoomed in photo of Priyanka Gandhi on his mobile phone and another BJP MLA U B Banakar was found playing video games, oblivious of the discussion about the plight of sugarcane growers to whom sugar mill owners owe huge arrears.
In the video footage, Chavan was also seen watching images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi along with Sonia Gandhi.
As the incident left the BJP red-faced, he had later said he zoomed in the picture of Priyanka Gandhi only to read a slogan below but admitted that it was a "mistake" to have taken the mobile phone inside the House.
Raising the issue, Law and Parliamentary Minister T B Jayachandra demanded action against Chavan and sought a permanent solution to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
The Minister said the incident has not only tarnished the image of the two legislators, but also that of the legislature.
Referring to the earlier incident during BJP's rule when Laxman Savadi and C C Patil, then ministers, were caught on TV camera watching pornography on their mobiles, he said a report has been submitted but no action had been taken.
The matter has gained serious proportions as it has reached the portals of the Parliament where the issue might come up for discussion and such an incident has hurt the sentiments of the legislators, Jayachandra said.
Opposition BJP Leader Jagadish Shettar demanded that the Chair put an end to such incidents and curb the use of mobile phones in the House.
Admitting the folly made by his party legislator, Shettar requested Speaker Kagodu Thimappa to allow the member to issue a statement in the House. He said the act has maligned the image of public representatives.
Chavan's conduct was unbecoming of a public representative, especially when the people had "unpleasant" views on legislators, Shettar, a former Chief Minister, said.
Before adjourning the House for ten minutes, Thimappa requested Congress members to take their seats and resume proceedings as Chavan had apologised "with tears in his eyes" in his chamber.
"The legislator visited me and apologised for the incident and shed tears. I think it will be appropriate that the members resume their seats and allow the House to function," he said.