Belagavi: In an embarrassment to Opposition BJP, a party MLA was caught on camera purportedly watching a zoomed in photo of Priyanka Gandhi on his mobile phone and other playing video games during proceedings of the Legislative Assembly here.
During video clippings telecast on local TV channels, MLA Prabhu Chavan was also shown watching photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bollywood actor Riteish Deshmukh and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi along with Sonia Gandhi.
The Aurad legislator however courted controversy as he purportedly watched the zoomed in photo of Priyanka Gandhi.
Asked about his conduct, Chavan maintained he was flipping through pictures on mobile, including that of Modi.
When he came across a Priyanka Gandhi’s picture, he zoomed into it to read the slogan below. There was nothing objectionable in his zooming in the picture, he said.
“No no there was a slogan below, I was watching it, I can show you. I was watching slogan below (the photo).”
“By mistake I took it (phone) inside. I agree it is my mistake, but I have seen nothing with bad intention. I was checking photos of national leaders, I checked Narendra Modi photo…. I also checked my son’s photos….,” Chavan told reporters here.
“….nothing of that sort, taking it (mobile) inside is a mistake and I agree it was my mistake…,” he added.
Another BJP MLA U B Banakar was caught on camera playing online games on mobile phone oblivious of the discussion about the plight of sugarcane growers to whom sugar mill owners owe huge arrears.
The footage of both the MLAs seated separately was captured by a TV cameraman from the elevated media gallery and beamed by Kannada T V channels.
“It shows BJP Culture”
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah took sharp exception to the conduct of the BJP MLAs, and said it “shows their culture.”
“We know what happened in the House in the past, when BJP MLAs were caught watching blue films on their mobile phones inside the House,” he said.
BJP Opposition leader Jagadish Shettar, who succeeded Sadananda Gowda as the chief minister during the BJP regime, said the action of party MLAs watching pictures in the mobile phones is “wrong and cannot be tolerated.”