Bengaluru:  The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka and opposition parties yesterday stepped up their attack on each other over action against three sleazegate ministers caught watching a porn clip on a mobile phone in the assembly.

Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda justified the setting up of an assembly panel to probe the action of two ministers, Laxman Savadi and C.C. Patil, caught watching a porn clip in the assembly on Tuesday on the mobile phone of another minister, J. Krishna Palemar.

The three quit on Wednesday following uproar in the assembly as well as across the state.

Dubbing the probe as an "eyewash" and "attempt to shield the guilty", the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) yesterday separately met Governor H.R. Bhardwaj and urged him to take steps for immediate expulsion of the three from the assembly.

"The three have accepted their guilt. The whole world has seen what Savadi and Patil were watching on Palemar's mobile phone. Then where is the need for a probe. They should be disqualified from assembly membership immediately," Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah of the Congress told reporters.

He and the state Congress chief G. Parameshwara led a protest in front of Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat in the city centre housing the legislature, and then marched to Raj Bhavan, about a kilometre away, to submit a memorandum to Bhardwaj.

A JD-S team led by party leader in the assembly H.D. Revanna, separately met Bhardwaj seeking his intervention for immediate expulsion of Savadi, Patil and Palemar from the assembly.

Hit back

The two delegations also demanded dismissal of the Gowda ministry. But Gowda hit back at the Congress, saying "I can give you 25 instances of sleaze act by that party's leaders. The Congress is indulging in cheap politics. We do not need to learn moral lessons from that party."

He defended Speaker K.G. Bopaiah not allowing a discussion on the incident in the assembly on Wednesday and setting up a six-member panel to probe the issue and give findings by March 12.

"I suggested the setting up of the panel. Let the panel give its findings. We will act on them," Gowda said, facing the first major crisis of his six-month rule.

The six-member house panel will be made up of two members each from the BJP, the Congress and the JD-S. The Congress and the JD-S are yet to decide whether their members will be on the panel.