Belagavi: Housing Minister M H Ambareesh may help the BJP deflect criticism from it, over one of its MLAs, Prabhu Chavan, watching a picture of Priyanka Gandhi on his smartphone in the Assembly.
It has now surfaced that Ambareesh, along with former minister and Congress MLA S S Mallikarjun, was watching a video in the Assembly on Wednesday evening – probably about the same time when BJP’s Prabhu Chavan was zooming in on Priyanka Gandhi‘s images. Though some TV news channels aired live images of the minister holding a cellphone, they could not show what exactly he was watching.In the footage, Mallikarjun is seen showing the minister something.
Besides, a video showing Ambareesh enjoying music in a bar and a picture of him kissing a young girl was being circulated on social media.
The two bits of “evidence” became ammunition for the BJP, which has been left red faced over the Chavan incident, to take on the Congress. Ambareesh, unperturbed, hit back at his detractors saying, “Yes… naanu 350 hudageerna ittukondideeni (…I have affairs with 350 girls). So what? Let them complain to anyone. I don’t care. I danced with girls in movies, but I didn’t do it inside the Assembly”. He, however, denied having watched anything objectionable inside the House with Mallikarjun.
The picture of the actor-turned-politician kissing a girl was circulated on WhatsApp. There is no confirmation on the authenticity of the image yet.
The minister appeared to have no qualms about the photograph were being circulated.
“If the photograph has been sent to Rahul Gandhi (Congress vice president), let them do it. I have no problem. It is my private life,” he said.
The BJP has been claiming the two Congress leaders were watching the video of Ambareesh enjoying a popular Hindi song in a bar. It is said the video was shot in a Bengaluru bar recently. But another version is that it was recorded several months ago in a bar in his home district Mandya.
Asked about the allegation that he watched a video inside the House, Ambareesh said, “Discussion on the sugar cane issue was over in the House. At that time Mallikarjun came to me and asked me to see a message on his mobile phone. But he was unable to open it. I told him I am not interested and sent him away,” he claimed.
Controversy has become the middle name of the ‘Rebel Star’ ever since he became a minister. He recently embarrassed the government and drew criticism for calling a woman IAS officer fair and beautiful at a public function in Mandya.
Ambareesh was accused of getting a Mandya Urban Development Authority site allotted for himself by bending rules. He and his family have illegally got three such sites allotted, it was claimed. He was criticised for getting his hefty medical bills of Rs 1.16 crore cleared by the government. He underwent month-long treatment in Singapore early this year.
He had recently embarrassed Chief Minister Siddaramaiah by openly commenting on nominations to boards and corporations. Ambareesh, who was upset over his followers from Mandya district not being nominated, had complained that the chief minister did not consult him while selecting names for the nominations.
Some Congress workers wrote to Digvijay Singh, the in-charge of Congress affairs in Karnataka, alleging that Ambareesh had time for going to bars, but not to attend Cabinet meetings. Members of the Ahinda Yuva Vedike, Mandya district, have written to Rahul Gandhi, about Ambareesh’s indiscretions.
The chief minister told reporters he condemned the act of Ambareesh using cellphone in the Assembly. “Where did he see and what did he see? If he has done it, then we will ask him not to repeat it,” he added.