India ministers resign over mobile phone porn scandal

Protesters from the Karnataka State Youth Congress in Bangalore hold a poster of the three BJP members involved in a mobile phone porn scandal.

Three government ministers in the southern Indian state of Karnataka resigned on Wednesday after two of them were accused of watching a pornographic video on the third official’s mobile phone during a state assembly session.

The right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is in power in Karnataka, ordered the three to quit after local TV channels aired footage of Cooperation Minister Laxman Savadi watching on a clip on a phone and sharing it with his colleague, Women and Child Development Minister C.C. Patil, in the state assembly on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

The phone reportedly belonged to Environment and Ports Minister Krishna Palemar. Soon after the footage was broadcast, furious residents of Bangalore, Karnataka’s capital, held protests outside the homes of the three ministers, demanding they step down, according to the Associated Press.

An inquiry has been ordered into the incident.

More from GlobalPost: No plugs for porn on Indian TV

According to the BBC, news channels positioned in the media galleries during a debate captured Savadi watching a clip of a woman dancing, getting undressed, and having sex, with the minister then passing the phone to Patil.

All three ministers deny watching porn. Yesterday Savadi said he had been watching the footage to “prepare for a discussion [in the assembly] on the ill-effects of a rave party” held in the state recently.

“Why should I resign?” he asked on Tuesday. “The video I watched was of a woman being raped by four people. It was not porn.” Patil told reporters that “we are not so uncivilized as to watch porn films,” while Palemar insisted his innocence would be proved by the inquiry. 

More from GlobalPost: India - soft-core porn makes a comeback