A day after Karnataka minister Tanvir Sait was allegedly caught looking at sleazy pictures on his mobile at a public function, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today said he would seek a report on the incident, even as the Opposition staged protests demanding Sait’s resignation. “…I will seek the report and then will see whether it needs to be inquired, after inquiry I will take action,” Siddaramaiah told reporters in Mysuru. He rubbished media reports which quoted him as describing the incident as false. “….did I say media reports are false? Some channels are saying so. What I have said is let the report come, I will examine the veracity,” the Chief Minister said.
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Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Tanvir Sait had yesterday waded into a controversy after video footage emerged showing him purportedly watching pictures of skimpily clad girls on his mobile on dais at a public function to mark Tipu Jayanti celebrations in Raichur district. Opposition parties and organisations today held protests in various parts of the state, including Yadgiri, Madikeri, Mysuru, Dharwad and Chitradurga, demanding sacking of Sait. A protest was also held under the leadership of JD(S) MLC Puttanna, in front of the minister’s office at Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat, in Bengaluru.
Speaking to reporters at Belagavi, Siddaramaiah said, “A mistake is a mistake whether it is committed by BJP or anyone else. I have spoken to Tanvir Sait over phone, he is in Raichur, he will return tomorrow and give an explanation.” “He (Sait) has said that he was not watching obscene pictures but was only scrolling messages received on Whatsapp in his phone,” adding, “the minister told me that he was ready for any inquiry.”
Meanwhile, state veteran Congress leader Janardhan Poojary also demanded that Sait be sacked. “If we still sleep, a situation may arise where we will have to sleep during the upcoming elections. So Mr Chief Minister to safeguard the prestige of the people of your district Mysuru, please take action,” he told reporters at Mangaluru.
Sait, who represents Narasimharaja constituency in Mysuru, was inducted into the cabinet in June. The minister has denied any wrongdoing on his part, saying he was only browsing Whatsapp messages on Tipu Jayanti celebrations held across the state yesterday.