Bengaluru: In a controversial and bizarre statement, Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar dared all 225 Karnataka MLAs to come clean on their ‘extra-marital affairs by undergoing monogamy test’.
Drawing flak from MLAs, including some embarrassed BJP lawmakers, the Speaker and opposition leaders, the minister later expressed regret.
Responding to the demand, Sudhakar said the ‘monogamy test’ will expose all those taking the moral high ground.
Before the session commenced, Wednesday, Sudhakar said: “To those behaving as ‘maryada purushottamas’ or ‘Sri Ramachandras’, I’m throwing a challenge. Let there be an investigation into the private life of all 225 MLAs and let it be known who has had relationships or extramarital affairs. It’s a matter of morality, right?”
He specifically named opposition leader Siddaramaiah, former CM HD Kumaraswamy, KPCC president DK Shivakumar, former speaker KR Ramesh Kumar and Congress MLA V Muniyappa and said, “They are all ‘Satya Harishchandras’ and practising monogamy strictly in their life, isn’t it? Let their private lives be investigated.”
Kumaraswamy admitted that he had ‘slipped’ once in his personal life but flayed Sudhakar saying, “You have created this situation by going to court. Had you followed propriety in public life, this situation would not have arisen.”
Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri took serious objection to the minister’s statement saying “Nobody should make such statements which bring disrepute to the House and its members.” Siddaramaiah condemned Sudhakar for his “sweeping statement” stating that it “amounts to breach of privilege of MLAs. He has mentioned several names, including mine, to paint us black. Let the government order an inquiry against all 225 MLAs.”
Agriculture minister BC Patil said: “It is wrong of Sudhakar to make such a statement. It’s bizarre to seek a monogamy test for all MLAs.”
In his response, Sudhakar said “After recent incidents of political conspiracy, we approached the court based on the suggestions of seniors, well-wishers and legal experts to protect our rights using the Constitution. This does not imply we have committed mistakes. My words, expressed due to anguish against prejudiced statements of opposition leaders, have been misinterpreted and blown out of proportion. I have high regard for all legislators. My statement was a response to those leaders trying to defame 17 of us and not intended to hurt legislators.”