BJP again caught in porn scandal, now in Gujarat (Lead)

March 21st, 2012 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Ahmedabad, March 21 (IANS) Barely a month after a porn scandal hit its ministers in Karnataka, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday found itself mired in more sleaze after a journalist alleged that BJP legislators in Gujarat were watching obscene clips in the assembly.

Journalist Janak Dave reported to Gujarat Speaker Ganpat Vasava’s office that Shankar Chaudhury and Jetha Bharwad were watching obscene clips in the house as it discussed the demands for grants of the water resources department.

The issue also rocked the Gujarat assembly with the Congress demanding dismissal of the two legislators.

The journalist claimed that he noticed the two legislators watching “pictures of Swami Vivekananda, then cartoons and then pictures of women” - from his seat in the media gallery of the assembly.

Chaudhary, Dave said, showed his tablet to Bharwad.

After the journalist reported the incident, the speaker ordered the removal of the tablet from the assembly and called for a probe by the assembly’s privileges committee.

Now, the tablet is likely to be sent for forensic tests to the laboratory here.

“I went to the speaker’s chamber and complained about it to his personal assistant, who informed the speaker and the viewing was stopped,” Dave claimed.

Meanwhile, Chaudhary denied the charges against him and claimed it was a conspiracy against him and his party.

“I had not viewed any obscene clips in the House and allegations like this cannot be tolerated. I have never in my life seen such clips. I am willing to deposit my i-pad before you (the speaker) for investigation. If I have done any wrong then I would quit politics,” Chaudhary said.

“I used my i-pad for getting direct question from the people of my constituency and for doing party work. This is a strong conspiracy to defame me and my government,” he said.

He also sought the speaker’s protection under the house rules.

He also noted that it could be determined using technology if he had watched any porn clips or not inside the house.

Bharwad, on his part, said he had not watched any porn clips in the assembly and claimed it was a conspiracy to malign him and his party.

Denying Dave’s charges, state BJP general secretary Vijay Rupani said the allegations were false and cooked up at Congress’ behest.

“I believe they were not watching such material on the tablet,” Rupani told reporters. “However, if required we will inquire about the incident.”

The Congress was quick to jump at the opportunity and called the incident “yet another example of BJP’s true face”.

With the party’s legislators raising the issue in the assembly and disrupting the proceedings, they were suspended from the house for a day.

In Delhi, Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters that the BJP seems to have not learnt any lesson from the Karnataka episode and that if strict action had been taken against the erring ministers in Karnataka, the incident would not have been repeated in Gujarat.

“We can only pray to god that such a thing is now not repeated in any third BJP-ruled state,” Alvi said.

The embarrassment comes after two Karnataka BJP ministers, Laxman S. Savadi and C.C. Patil, were caught on TV cameras viewing a porn clip on a cell phone in the assembly on Feb 7.

The two ministers said the cell phone belonged to their colleague J. Krishna Palemar. The three resigned Feb 8 following a public outcry.

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