In a major political embarassment for the Karnataka INC leader Prakash Rathod was caught browsing through obscene clips on his mobile phone in the state legislative council on 29 January.
The visuals of Rathod purportedly watching pornographic content on his mobile phone during proceedings in the legislative council were aired by Kannada channels. He, however, denied the charge.
In the video, Karnataka INC Rathod could be seen scrolling through some visual content which is blurred for television broadcast.
Footage captured by some camerapersons showed Rathod watching porn, but her later told media that he wasn’t browsing on the internet but simply deleting unwanted messages.
Speaking to reporters later in the day, Rathod said he was looking for information stored on his mobile phone for a question to be posed to the government during Question Hour and was deleting certain contents that he had received, as the storage was full.
“Usually we do not carry mobile phone inside the house, but I wanted to ask a question and hence was checking my phone. I realized that my storage was full and so I started deleting clips that were unwanted,” Rathod justified.
“This is the upper house, the house of elders and it is being used for all the wrong reasons. The last time the INC created a ruckus, this time a member is caught watching porn inside the house. I expect DK Shivkumar to take stringent action against Prakash Rathod and perhaps suspend him from the legislative party”, S Prakash said.
This isn’t the first incident of legislators watching porn in the Assembly. In 2012, three ministers were allegedly caught on camera watching porn on their smartphones while the House was in session.
Lakshman Savadi, CC Patil and Krishna Palemar tendered their resignations a day after regional TV channels went big with footage of their alleged act on 7 February 2012. The controversy and the national outrage it evoked came as a major embarrassment for the BJP, which was the ruling party at the time.