New Karnataka DyCM Laxman Savadi targeted over porn-watching past

Karnataka deputy chief minister CM Laxman Savadi swearing in
Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala administers the oath of office and secrecy to Laxman Savadi during the swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka BJP Government, at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru. (PTI Photo)

The recently sworn in BS Yediyurappa government has come under attack for making Laxman Sangappa Savadi, who was caught on camera watching porn on his mobile phone during Assembly proceedings in 2012, as Deputy Chief Minister.

Savadi was made deputy CM along with Govind Kajrol and Ashwath Narayan. Back in 2012, he and then-minister CC Patil had resigned in 2012 after the porn-watching incident was telecast by a Karnataka news channel.

Savadi had then argued that the Assembly was discussing about a ‘rave party scandal’ and they were watching the porn video clip for “educational purposes, to know more about rave parties”.

Recalling the incident, Congress Legislature Party leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah said, “It did not happen outside but inside the assembly.”

He also slammed Yediyurappa for giving Savadi the post when he had lost the Assembly elections last year. “The person who had lost the election has been made the deputy chief minister. BJP does not have shame. Do they have any?” Siddaramaiah told reporters in Athani taluk of Belagavi district where he had gone to meet flood victims.

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Savadi said he will work hard to make the party stronger in Karnataka and bring good name to the government.

“National and state leaders made me Deputy CM. They have shown faith in me. I did not ask for this post, senior leaders gave it to me, I accepted it,” he said.

A section of the BJP had also criticised the move of making Savadi a minister as he was neither a member of Assembly nor Council.

BJP sources said Savadi was rewarded as he was among those who played a key role in getting 17 MLAs from the Congress and JDS to resign from the Assembly, reducing the then Congress-JDS coalition government headed by HD Kumaraswamy to a minority and paving the way for installation of the BJP regime.

Savadi had contested the Assembly elections from Athani constituency and lost to Congress’s Mahesh Kumathahalli, who was among the rebel MLAs who brought down the Kumaraswamy government, and stands disqualified.

Kumathahalli is a close confidant of Belgaum strongman Ramesh Jarkiholi, another rebel MLA.

Siddaramaiah also took a dig at the Yediyurappa government for having three deputy chief ministers.

“Three MLAs have been made deputy chief ministers. It had never happened in the past,” he said.

Yediyurappa was the one who had created two deputy chief ministers posts (in the past) and now he has three deputy chief ministers, Siddaramaiah said.

He claimed that the three deputy chief ministers posts were created despite Yediyurappa’s “unwillingness.” “This seems to have been done to tie down Yediyurappa.”

(With agency inputs)