Bangalore: Three BJP ministers "voluntarily" resigned on Wednesday over the shocking sleaze row to rock the Karnataka Assembly. Mangalore in-charge Minister Krishna Palemar, Co-operation Minister Lakshman Savadi and Karnataka Women and Child Welfare Minister CC Patil tendered in their resignation during a BJP core committee meeting that was held early on Wednesday morning. The ministers said they were resigning to save the party's image.
This is not the first time CC Patil has found himself roiled in a controversy. In January this year, he assumed the high moral ground on womenswear, saying, "I personally don't favour women wearing provocative clothes and always feel they need to be dignified in whatever they wear." He also said that women should know how much skin they should cover.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj has accepted the trio's resignations.
Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda said after receiving the resignations, "Three of my ministers, Lakshman Savadi, CC Patil and Krishna Palemar have voluntarily handed in their resignations in spite of the fact that they are innocent in the matter... I have accepted their resignations."
BJP leader Dhananjay Kumar, however, argued that the BJP must be appreciated for its "swift act" as it had "asked" its party members to resign.
He added, "The BJP has taken this seriously. We uphold morality in public life. What has happened is unfortunate."
CC Patil and Lakshman Savadi were caught watching an obscene video on their mobile phones on Tuesday while the Assembly was in session. A regional TV channel aired the footage of the duo watching the clippings when the Assembly was debating the issue of hoisting of Pakistan national flag in a town in Bijapur district on the New Year's day.
The footage showed Savadi watching the video and later joined by Patil for a brief while.
Savadi had earlier tried to explain away the controversy saying the video was a "value addition" for a discussion on the rave parties that happened during a tourism festival in coastal Karnataka.
"I have done nothing wrong and I will not resign. I was watching a foreign rave party scene sent by one of my colleague minister Krishna. I did it to understand what rave party means," Savadi had said.
The two ministers were at the receiving end of the Kannada activists' ire, who went on the rampage, shouting slogans in front of their houses late on Tuesday night.
"We won't tolerate it, if such people soil the image of the temple of Karnataka. The sacred place that's Vidhan Souda," Karnataka Rakshana Vedike activist Lokesh Gowda said.
BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain had earlier said that the party would take action against those found guilty.
"I would say that a politician should lead an honourable life because people repose their faith in them. If the minister is found guilty then we will take action against them. We will give a statement once we get the details."
The Congress, that will look to cash in on the incident, came out strongly on Wednesday, slamming the BJP for the "shameless" conduct of its party leaders.
"It is shameless on the part of those ministers," said Congress leader and Corporate Affairs Minister Veerappa Moily.
"This has been going on in the BJP party. Many BJP ministers have been involved in such crimes. They should be straight away sacked from the party. Even in Udupi, a rave party has been taking place for three days. The whole BJP party in Karnataka standing on an immoral ground," he added.
Karnataka’s 'sleazy' past:
- Ex-Chief Minister BS Yedyurappa allegedly had relations with a Cabinet minister
- Excise Minister Renukacharya was caught kissing a nurse. The nurse claimed Renukacharya had raped and threatened her.
- Ex-BJP MLA Halappa was allegedly caught on camera raping a close aide's wife.