Karnataka Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Tanvir Sait on Thursday 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.
Strongly defending himself, the minister denied any wrongdoing on his part, even as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said he would get a report and talk to Sait on the controversy, which has prompted the Opposition to demand his resignation.
Attending a function at Raichur in north Karnataka where he is the district in charge minister, Sait is seen in the video footage, telecast by Kannada TV channels, purportedly surfing through the obscene pictures.
Sait said he was going through the Whatsapp messages sent to him about "Tipu Jayanti" celebrations elsewhere in the state and he had not downloaded any pictures of porn content.
The Karnataka government on Thursday held state wide "Tipu Jayanti" celebrations in commemoration of the 18th century Mysore ruler of the erstwhile Mysore kingdom.
"I had no intention of seeing them," he said when told that the video footage clearly showed him browsing the pictures of semi-clad women. "I have no such habit also."
"Let it be inquired into, if required," Sait said.
Seeking to corner Sait, the BJP said he should resign saying he had failed to maintain dignity of office that too in public.
"It is shameful. I condemn it," Opposition BJP leader in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar said, adding, "if there is any shame left in him, he should resign immediately."
"The students, teachers and the entire state is watching him as Education minister and he is watching pornographic content at a public function," he said.
JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy said, "this should not have happened. Let us see what the chief minister will do."
Siddaramaiah said he was not aware of what exactly had happened.
"Do not know. I will get a report and see", he said, adding he would also talk to Sait.