Karnataka sleazegate ministers quit, BJP embarrassed (Second Lead)

February 8th, 2012 - 1:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore, Feb 8 (IANS) Three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers in Karnataka resigned from their posts Wednesday, a day after two of them were caught watching porn on the third minister’s phone in the state assembly. The opposition is already clamouring for their expulsion from the house.

All three - Laxman Savadi, C.C. Patil and J. Krishna Palemar - claim they have done no wrong and say a probe would prove their innocence.

The three told reporters separately here they had submitted the resignation from the ministry to Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda “voluntarily”.

“We will urge the speaker to set up a probe to prove our innocence,” they said.

Private Kannada TV channels Tuesday showed Savadi intently watching the porn clip while Patil appeared to take a brief look on a cell phone that they said belonged to Palemar.

Gowda, state BJP chief K.S. Eshwarappa and former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa also claimed that the resignations were “voluntary”. They did not want to embarrass the party, the three leaders told reporters at separate meets.

Eshwarappa, however, acknowledged that the development was an embarrassment for the party. “It is unfortunate. I cannot say it has not caused embarrassment to the party,” he said.

Eshwarappa said the three want Speaker K.G. Bopaiah to immediately order a probe so they can prove their innocence. “They are confident of proving their innocence,” he said.

Gowda said he had accepted their resignations and forwarded them to the governor for acceptance.

Savadi held the cooperation portfolio, Patil handled women and child welfare while Palemar looked after environment and ports.

The opposition Congress has mounted pressure for their expulsion from the Karnataka assembly.

“Resignation (from the ministry) is not adequate. They should be expelled from the assembly. We will insist on their expulsion,” state Congress chief G. Parameshwara told reporters.

The Janata Dal-Secular party will also seek their immediate disqualification from the assembly, state JD-S chief H. D. Kumaraswamy said.

The two parties plan to protest in the assembly till the three are expelled. The assembly will meet till Feb 10.

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