March 25, 2021 UPDATED: March 25, 2021 15:41 IST
Karnataka Health Minister Keshava Sudhakar on Wednesday stirred a controversy after he demanded an investigation into the personal lives of all 255 MLAs to find out if they had “immoral relationships”.
Suggesting a probe into the history of all the MLAs, Sudhakar said, “I am openly challenging them — all the 225 legislators. Let us all face an inquiry on immoral affairs [or extramarital affairs]. We’ll know their true faces.”
Sudhakar further said leaders like Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar and HD Kumaraswamy were among those who should face the inquiry “if their conscience is right”.
‘HE HAS LOST IT’
Sudhakar came under fire for his statement, with many leaders of his own party — BJP — distancing themselves from his remark.
A BJP MLA said, “We told him [Sudhakar] that what he said was wrong. Why pull everyone down with yourself? These unwanted comments will only embarrass the House.”
Some Congress MLAs also raised the issue in the Karnataka Assembly and asked the Speaker to take note of the matter. They called Sudhakar’s comments an insult to MLAs.
Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah demanded that a breach of privilege motion be moved against Sudhakar.
“When giving a statement, you should name the persons clearly instead of saying that all 224 should be inquired is wrong. Because when one person becomes a minister or a legislator, there is some status and respect that we have since we are not like common people and have been elected,” Narasimha Nayak (Raju Gouda), BJP legislator from Shorapur, said.
Following Sudhakar’s comments, Congress MLAs Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar and Ramesh Kumar wrote a letter to the Speaker and Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, saying they were willing to face an investigation.
In their letter, Congress said Yediyurappa and the Speaker should also be ready to be probed by a Special Investigation Team (SIT).
Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar said, “I don’t want to know why he made such a statement. He has lost it. Let it be done. I’ve one wife, one family.”
DON’T TAKE LITERAL MEANING: SUDHAKAR DEFENDS
K Sudhakar soon released a statement defending himself and asked MLAs not to take the literal meaning of his words.
Targeting the Congress, he said, “No one bothered when the Congress deliberately tried to defame and indulge in character assassination of six ministers. But my statement to introspect themselves has hurt some people. I request them not to take the literal meaning of my statement but understand the pain and anguish behind my words.”
“I have huge respect for the august house and legislators and I will never do anything that will disrespect the house. My words, which were expressed due to anguish against the prejudiced statements of Opposition leaders, have been misinterpreted and blown out of proportion. I have high regards for all legislators,” he said.
“My statement has been misinterpreted and I regret if it has hurt anyone,” he said.