BJP’s conundrum: Banks on porn-tainted former ministers in Karnataka even as MP minister wants ban on pornography

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In a move that will disappoint the activists fighting for the safety of women and girls in India, the BJP has decided to field two former ministers, who were caught watching porn inside the Karnataka assembly in 2012, for the next month’s polls.

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In 2012, Minister for Cooperation Laxman Savadi was caught watching pornography on his mobile phone while the Assembly was in session. Also joining him were Minister for Ecology, Environment and Ports J Krishna Palemar and Women and Child Welfare Minister CC Patil.

All three had to resign from the cabinet after the national outrage left the saffron party utterly embarrassed. Six years later, the same party has now decided to field two of them as its candidates once again. Palemar had lost his Mangalore City North seat to Congress’ Mohiuddin Bava in 2013 assembly polls.

While Savadi has been fielded from Athani constituency, Patil will be the saffron party’s candidate from Nargund. The third leader of the infamous porn trio, Palemar, has been left out. It remains to be seen if the BJP will give him the ticket from one of the four remaining seats, Badami, Varuna, Sakleshpur and Sidlaghatta.

The decision to field porn-tainted leaders by the BJP also coincides the raging outrage against the party after its ministers extended support to a rally taken out in support of the gang-rape and murder of an eight-year-old child in Kathua. Another party legislator was recently arrested for allegedly raping an 18-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district.

Ironically, the saffron party’s decision to field former ministers, accused of watching porn inside the assembly building, came amidst another BJP minister in Madhya Pradesh demanding a ban on porn.

Bhupendra Singh, the Madhya Pradesh state home minister, said that was considering a ban on porn to check rape and molestation cases.

“We think the reasons for the rising number of child rape and molestation cases are porn. We are contemplating of banning porn in Madhya Pradesh, will approach the centre in the matter,” he was quoted by news agency ANI.

 

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