Chaos in Karnataka assembly over BJP MLA gazing at Priyanka Gandhi's pic

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Belagavi (Karna), Dec 11: Karnataka Assembly was on Thursday 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.

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The members said Chavan's "unacceptable" conduct had hurt the dignity of their leader and demanded action against him. [BJP MLA Prabhu Chavan in the soup, thanks to Priyanka Gandhi]

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.

PTI

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