A day after the alleged porngate in the assembly, speaker Ganpat Vasava endorsed the accused BJP MLA’s accusations against the media alleging a conspiracy and instituted an inquiry by a privilege committee on Wednesday. Further, he denied having any intimation from the media about the MLA watching objectionable content on iPad in the House on Tuesday.
Accused MLA Shankar Chaudhary denied any wrongdoing even as the opposition Congress demanded his scalp. Chaudhary described as baseless the newspaper reports which accused him of watching obscene material on his iPad in the House.
Clarifying his position in the House, Chaudhary denied the allegations and described the reports as a conspiracy to malign him. He claimed that crores of rupees had been spent to manage the media to defame him and accused the media of resorting to sensationalism. He also announced that he would quit public life if the charges were proved.
Vasava said the allegations made against Chaudhary were unprecedented in the assembly’s history. “Considering his clarification, the reports appear to me as an attempt by certain elements to intentionally malign and defame the House. This appears to me to be a case of breach of privilege and contempt of the House. I hand over inquiry in the matter to the assembly’s privilege committee,” he said.
Vasava also ordered that Chaudhary’s iPad be sent immediately for testing to the Forensic Science Laboratory.
Earlier in the day, the House was adjourned just two minutes after it convened at noon, as the Congress tried to raise the porngate issue. The opposition members also displayed newspaper cuttings which accused two BJP MLAs - Shankar Chaudhary and Shehra MLA Jetha Bharwad - of watching obscene material in the House.
The Opposition created a ruckus again when the House reconvened after an hour and sought dismissal of the duo.
Vasava refused to admit to the media that he had been informed about the MLAs by a senior journalist. “I was not informed by any media yesterday (Tuesday). I only came to know about that when the Chaudhary approached me in the morning (Wednesday) and asked for the permission to clarify his side in the House,” said the speaker.
When asked if communicating to the speaker’s office can be considered as official communication to the speaker, Vasava said he was in the house and he personally had not received any such communication from his office in the house.