Karnataka Minister’s challenge to ‘Sathya Harishchandras’: Take a ‘Monogamy test’

Karnataka Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar threw open a challenge to all the 225 MLAs in the state assembly to come clean on their extra-marital affairs with a “monogamy test”
K Sudhakar
K Sudhakar

Karnataka Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar challenged his fellow MLA colleagues to undergo a ‘monogamy test’. The minister created a political furore after he called for an investigation into the private lives of all 225 legislators to find out how many of them have had illicit or extra-marital relationships.

“This is an open challenge from me to those who think that they are Sathya Harishchandras. Let all the 225 of us face an inquiry…. It is the question of morality and values. Let the people of the State know if they have any illicit relationship and extra-marital affairs,” he said.

The minister who challenged a few of his colleagues, “KR Ramesh Kumar, V Muniyappa, Shivakumar, Siddaramaiah, Kumaraswamy...they’re following monogamy strictly, right? Let them agree to this (challenge),” soon expressed his regret over his statements after drawing flak.

Sudhakar's statement was in response to Congress' demand for the resignation of six Ministers (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), including him, on moral grounds and for getting injunction from the court against the publication or broadcast of any unverified news about them.

They had approached the court for injunction after one of their colleagues Ramesh Jarkiholi resigned earlier this month amid allegations of sexual harassment after a purported sex for job video involving him emerged.

However, Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri said, “Nobody should make such statements which bring disrepute to the House and its members,” said.

Siddaramaiah said, “The statement amounts to breach of privilege of MLAs. Let the government order an inquiry against all 225 MLAs.” BJP MLA Raju Gowda demanded Sudhakar withdraw his statement.

Former minister Raju Gowda expressed his displeasure over the statement. He said, "He is a minister. We are MLAs. He must withdraw his statement. We are not like the common man. We have responsibilities. We have our own position. Those in responsible posts shall not give such statements."

Meanwhile, the Special Investigation Team has intensified its probe into the sex for job case involving former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi. Jarkiholi was caught in a major scandal when a sex tape capturing him in a compromising position with a woman broke out. The sex tape was released to the media by social activist Dinesh Kalahalli, who alleged that the woman in the video clips was enticed by the minister with a government job offer at Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited.

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