BANGALORE: The Congress Wednesday said it will not join the panel to probe three former Karnataka ministers caught watching porn in the assembly, saying the panel was an attempt to shield them.
"We are not going to be part of the committee. It is an eyewash and an attempt to protect them," Congress leader Siddaramaiah told reporters here.
Speaker K.G. Bopaiah announced Feb 8 that he would set up the panel, after ministers Laxman Savadi and C.C. Patil were caught on TV cameras watching the porn clip in the assembly on a mobile phone.
They said the phone belonged to a ministerial colleague, J. Krishna Palemar.
The three resigned from the D.V. Sadananda Gowda ministry Feb 8 but insisted they have not done any wrong and that the clip was not a porn film.
The panel was to consist of four legislators from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), two from the Congress and one from the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and was to give its findings by March 12.
With the Congress deciding to stay away from the committee, the JD-S may also follow suit making the probe, if Bopaiah still goes ahead with it, an all BJP affair.
Both Congress and JD-S and civic groups have demanded the expulsion of the three from the assembly as Savadi and Patil had been shown on TV channels watching the clip.
Savadi, Patil and Palemar have been making contradictory statements.
Palemar had said he came to know such a clip was in his phone only after seeing Savadi and Patil on television watching it in the assembly. He then said the phone did not belong to him.