'Porn in House' storm hits BJP in Gujarat

By D.P. Bhattacharya

The Gujarat assembly was adjourned twice on Wednesday over allegations that two BJP MLAs had watched porn on a tablet computer in the House.

Janak Patel, the reporter of a Gujarati daily, alleged that Radhanpur MLA Shankar Chaudhary and Sehra MLA Jetha Bharwad were watching 'obscene pictures' while the state's Budget was being discussed on Tuesday.

Radhanpur MLA Shankar Chaudhary (left) and Sehre MLA Jetha Bharwad were allegedly viewing obscene photos in the House

The reporter alleged that the MLAs were reportedly watching porn on Chaudhary's iPad while panchayat minister Narottam Patel was answering questions. Janak Patel complained to the Speaker's office.
Speaker Ganpat Vasava then sent a note to the two MLAs. When the House met on Wednesday, the Speaker had to adjourn it twice after the Opposition started gunning for Chaudhary's head.

When the House met after the adjournments, Chaudhary sought to make a statement on the controversy, which was resisted by the Opposition. Subsequently, the Speaker suspended the Congress MLAs for the day.

The incident comes days after the Karnataka assembly recommended action against a BJP MLA for allegedly watching porn on his cell phone. Chaudhary has denied the allegation and sought a probe into the matter. He alleged that he is being targeted as a part of political conspiracy.

In a statement issued by the BJP later in the day, Chaudhary alleged that 'the forces who can't defeat me politically have resorted to such low and cheap tactics and used the media'. BJP state spokesperson I.K. Jadeja also alleged that Chaudhary is being targeted at the behest of the leader of the Opposition, who was earlier suspended by the Speaker till the end of the current session.

Speaker Vasava while ordering the probe by the privileges committee, also ordered that the iPads of Chaudhary and Bharwad be seized and sent for forensic tests. Smelling blood, the Congress has upped the ante.

'While in Karnataka, the BJP government had suspended the three MLAs caught watching porn on a mobile in the House immediately and initiated a probe by a house committee, it was expected that the government will do something similar here as well,' Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president Arjun Modvadia said.

'The Gujarat government is trying to save these MLAs. Since the Congress demanded action against them, the entire Opposition was suspended from the House for the day but no action was taken against these MLAs,' Modvadia added.

Earlier, Janak Patel had claimed Chaudhary showed his tablet to Bharwad. 'First they started by watching the pictures of Swami Vivekananda, then cartoons and then pictures of women,' the reporter alleged.

'I am willing to deposit my tablet before the Speaker for investigation. If I have done any wrong then I will quit politics,' Chaudhary said. Bharwad also dismissed the allegations as a conspiracy aimed at giving a bad name to them and the party.

© Daily Mail, London

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