Amid the Jarkiholi sex scandal, Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Wednesday, kicked up another controversy daring all 225 Karnataka MLAs to undergo a 'monogamy test'. After receiving massive flak from MLAs and the Speaker for his dare, he 'regretted' his statement, an hour later, asking people to 'understand his pain' and not take him 'literally'. Sudhakar - a Congress-turned-BJP leader, is one of the six ministers who had secured an injunction against 68 media houses from airing any CD or other material that is likely to defame them in connection to the Jarkiholi sex scandal.
Amid Opposition MLAs' protest against the media gag on the Jarkiholi sex scandal, Sudhakar said in Assembly, “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.”
Sudhakar's words led to uproar, with Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri saying, “Nobody should make such statements which bring disrepute to the House and its members.” While Opposition MLAs condemned Sudhakar's words, they were joined by several BJP MLAs too. Amid the ruckus, Karnataka Congress chief Shivakumar said, “I have only one wife and one family”, while ex-CM HD Kumaraswamy said, "You have created this situation by going to court. Had you followed propriety in public life, this situation would not have arisen.”
Regretting his words, Sudhakar said, “No one bothered when Congress deliberately tried to defame six ministers. But my statement asking them to introspect has hurt some. I request them not to take my statement literally but understand the pain and anguish of my words". Currently, Congress women workers are protesting in front of CM Yeddiyurappa's office against Sudhakar's statement.
Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah tweeted asking if "BJP MLAs will ask CM to initiate an enquiry against all the MLAs", adding that all Congress MLAs had already done it. Pointing out that polygamy is illegal under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, he said all BJP MLAs should clarify on their marital status. Local reports state that CM Yeddiyurappa has pulled up Sudhakar for his remarks, saying that such words did not be befit his stature.
.@mla_sudhakar had told that none of the 225 MLAs follow monogamy. As this statement applies to @BJP4Karnataka MLAs also, they should clarify about their marital status to the people of Karnataka.— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) March 25, 2021
A Bengaluru activist approached the Cubbon Park police with a complaint alleging that Jarkiholi (Water resources minister) asked for sexual favours to offer a woman a job in Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited. The activist complainant, Dinesh Kallahalli, has allegedly submitted a CD that has the clip involving Jarkiholi and the woman, along with audio clips. He alleged that the girl had approached the minister to seek permission to operate drone cameras to shoot a dam for a documentary, during which she was offered a job at Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd, in return for sexual favours. BJP has cried foul alleging conspiracy and Congress has sought CM's resignation, while Jarkiholi has refuted it, but resigned from his cabinet post. The complainant has now withdrawn the complaint stating that 'victim's image was getting spoilt online', while the Bengaluru police have registered a case of conspiracy and blackmailing against unknown persons based on ex-Karnataka minister Ramesh Jarkiholi's complaint.