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'Sex CD' row: K'taka ministers say moved court to prevent smear campaign

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
March 06, 2021 16:37 IST
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Karnataka Ministers, who moved a court in Bengaluru seeking injunction against the media from publishing or airing anything 'defamatory or unauthenticated' against them, on Saturday said it was a precautionary measure against a 'big political conspiracy' targetting them.


IMAGE: Members of the Aam Adami Party raise slogans against Karnataka minister Ramesh Jarkiholi for his alleged involvement in a CD row in Bengaluru. Jarkiholi later resigned from his post. Photograph: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI Photo

They also indicated that more ministers may take similar steps.

Six ministers of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa-led Bharatiya Janata Party government had on Friday approached the court of the
additional city civil and sessions judge seeking injunction.

The ministers are Labour Minister Shivaram Hebbar, Agriculture Minister B C Patil, Cooperation Minister S T Somashekar, Health and Family Welfare, and Medical Education minister K Sudhakar, Youth Empowerment and Sports Minister K C Narayana Gowda and Urban Development Minister Bhyrathi Basavaraj.

Health Minister Sudhakar alleged that there seems to be a big political conspiracy to defame them by misusing the media, and that they have approached court to prevent this hit-and-run smear campaign.

Pointing to the conspiracy to tarnish the image of individuals and destroy the goodwill gained from years of good work, he told reporters here that it was necessary to put an end to it and the government is also mulling bringing a law to check this kind of mischief.

Both mainstream media and social media platforms are being misused to broadcast misinformation and fake news.

He further said if there is truth in the allegations, no one can be protected, culprits must be punished, but smear campaign to tarnish image and goodwill is not acceptable.

Cooperation Minister S T Somashekar said we have come to know from our old friends in the assembly about the conspiracy to target us with an intent to defame and make us resign.

"There is a conspiracy to target during the assembly session with an intent to defame us, so as a precautionary measure we have approached the court, six of us have gone, today another six may go, totally 15-16 of us who have come to (BJP) as there is apprehension about attempt to defame us, so we have sought court protection," he told the media.

Noting that those who have approached the court are in politics for years now, and that they can be defamed in seconds by creating something, he further said, "We will get to know in two to three days about who is behind it, then we will hold a press conference and explain the reason for moving the court... we will also inform the chief minister and party president."

Agriculture Minister B C Patil pointing out that he has grown in politics without any godfather, and some people are not able to digest it, in a tweet said, with apprehensions about an attempt to defame us as part of political conspiracy by some conspirators, we have approached the court as precautionary measure.

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, minister Byrathi Basavaraj said they have approached court as there is a conspiracy being hatched against them.

"...we have not done anything wrong."

The six ministers are among the 17 MLAs who had rebelled against the then Congress-Janata Dal(Secular) coalition government, leading to its fall in July 2019 and paving way for the BJP to come to power.

Disqualified from their respective parties -- Congress and JD-S -- the MLAs had subsequently joined the BJP, contested bypolls in December 2019 on the saffron party tickets and were made ministers after winning the polls.

Ramesh Jarkiholi, who recently resigned as a minister amid allegations of sexual harassment after the emergence of a sleaze CD, had also defected to the BJP along with these Ministers and had become a minister.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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