Bengaluru, Mar 24 (PTI) Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar's statement calling for an probe into the personal lives of all 225 members of the state assembly to find out how many of them have had illicit or extra-marital relationships, created a flutter in political circles on Wednesday.
'Those opposition leaders from Congress and JD(S) who are projecting themselves as Maryada Purushas and Sri Ramachandras, I want to throw a challenge.. Let all 225 (MLAs) face an inquiry. Let it be proved who has had illicit relationships or not, including me,' Sudhakar said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said, 'Everybody's character will be known... who did what when they were chief ministers in their private lives. Let everything be inquired.
Anyway, this is a question of morality and values, right? Let it involve everyone- Ministers, MLAs, opposition leaders.
Who has had illicit or extra-marital affairs be known.
Im openly challenging.' Taking the names of Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D K Shivakumar, former chief minister and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy, Sudhakar said if their conscience is right, let them agree to this proposal and face inquiry.
'Theyre all Satya Harishchandras... K R Ramesh Kumar, V Muniyappa (Congress leaders), Shivakumar, Siddaramaiah, Kumaraswamy... theyre following monogamy strictly, right? Let them agree to this (challenge).
Let there be inquiry on all 225, people will know the truth... I'm ready for this,' he added.
Sudhakar's statement was in response to Congress' demand for the resignation of six Ministers, including him on moral grounds, for getting injunction from the court against the publication or broadcast of any unverified news about them.
The other Ministers are Labour Minister Shivaram Hebbar, Agriculture Minister B C Patil, Cooperation Minister S T Somashekar, Youth empowerment and sports Minister Narayana Gowda, and Urban Development Minister Bhyrathi Basavaraj.
They had approached the court for injunction after one of their collegue Ramesh Jarkiholi, resigned as a minister earlier this month amid allegations of sexual harassment after the emergence of a purported sex video allegedly involving him, which he has termed as 'fake'.
Reacting to Sudhakar's statement, Shivakumar said that he has one wife and one family.
He said, 'Im very happy... He (Sudhakar) has given precious words to the state. We will discuss this in the assembly after discussing with our leaders as it involves everyone.' Hitting out at Sudhakar, Kumarsawamy said, such a situation would not have arisen if he and his ministerial colleagues had followed propriety.
Recalling that he had once 'slipped' in his private life, he said, I admitted that in the Assembly.. why has he (Sudhakar) brought in my name. I have said it openly with courage.' '... these things wouldnt have come up if you had behaved properly and if you hadn't gone to court for an injunction.
You created all these problems,' Kumaraswamy said, adding that such matters should not be discussed in public.
'Nobody can claim to be Satya Harishchandra.' Meanwhile, Shorapur MLA Narasimha Nayak (Rajugouda) who is from Sudhakar's own party, the BJP, termed the Minister's statement as 'wrong' and demanded that it be withdrawn.
'While giving the statement he (Sudhakar) should have taken specific names instead of speaking about all 224 MLAs.
We are elected representatives, we have a position in the society, so our statements should be careful as people will follow it.
One should not make such light statements, it is not good for anyone,' he said. PTI KSU ROH ROH