Prajwal breaks silence over sexual abuse allegations; Cong keeps up heat on BJP

Prajwal Revanna who has been suspended from the JD(S) amid allegations over sexual abuse.
Prajwal Revanna who has been suspended from the JD(S) amid allegations over sexual abuse.

Bengaluru | Breaking his silence over the sexual abuse allegations against him, Hassan MP and BJP-JD (S) alliance candidate for Lok Sabha Prajwal Revanna said truth will prevail and sought seven days to appear before the SIT probing the charges, even as the Congress stepped up its attack against the saffron party.

"Is being part of Modi's 'political family' a 'guarantee of protection' for criminals?" Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi while the state chief minister Siddaramaiah urged the PM to take swift action to cancel the diplomatic passport of Prajwal that the Janata Dal (Secular) leader used to travel abroad.

With his party under fire over the matter, senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the saffron organisation cannot remain with those who commit atrocities against women.

Prajwal and his father H D Revanna, former Karnataka minister, were booked by police on Sunday on charges of sexual harassment and criminal intimidation based on a complaint from a woman, who worked in their household. Prajwal is the grandson of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and nephew of Karnataka ex-chief minister H D Kumaraswamy.

Taking to Facebook, Prajwal Revanna posted: "As I am not in Bangalore to attend the inquiry, I have communicated to CID Bangalore through my advocate. Truth will prevail soon."

There was no immediate comment from the Special Investigation Team on Prajwal's request.

The MP left the country as soon as the election to his constituency ended and is believed to be in Germany. Nearly 3,000 explicit video clips allegedly involving Prajwal sexually abusing several women have gone viral in Hassan in recent days.

Congress kept up the heat on its rival BJP over the matter.

Besides Rahul, his sister and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi also hit out at the BJP on the sexual abuse allegations against Prajwal Revanna and said PM Modi sought votes for him and did not stop the JD(S) leader from leaving the country.

In a post in Hindi, Rahul Gandhi said, "as always, Narendra Modi has maintained shameful silence on the gruesome crimes committed against women in Karnataka."

"The Prime Minister will have to answer: Despite knowing everything, why did he campaign for the devil who exploited hundreds of daughters, just for votes? After all, how did such a big criminal escape from the country with such ease?" the former Congress chief said.

Addressing a public meeting in Hubbali in Karnataka, Amit Shah asserted his party cannot remain with those who commit atrocities against women, referring to the Prajwal Revanna episode.

He also blamed the Congress government in Karnataka for not acting against the Hassan MP till the Lok Sabha polls in the Vokkaliga belt were over.

Just before the elections, a huge cache of explicit videos and photographs, allegedly involving Prajwal have gone viral in the social media, following which the state government constituted the SIT on the request of Karnataka State Commission for Women chairperson Nagalakshmi Chowdhary.

A case has been registered against Revanna and Prajwal at Holenarasipura on a complaint by their former cook and relative for allegedly sexually harassing her. She alleged that Prajwal made video calls to her daughter and spoke in an objectionable manner, which forced her to block him.

"We (BJP) have an alliance with the JD(S). Now (Prajwal) Revanna's CD has come. They (Congress) thought they can corner the BJP. I am making it clear here BJP cannot remain with those who commit atrocities against women," the Home Minister said.

He said Congress is in power in the state and it should have taken action.

The BJP's stand was clear that stringent punishment should be given to those who commit such crimes, shah added.

Meanwhile, Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah alleged Deve Gowda planned the 'escape' of his grandson, Prajwal Revanna, abroad.

"Who gives passport and visa for travelling abroad? It’s the Centre. Can he go without the Centre’s knowledge? It was former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda who planned and sent him abroad," the Chief Minister told reporters at Yadgir in Karnataka.

He also ruled out his deputy D K Shivakumar’s involvement in leaking the videos as has been alleged by JD(S) second-in-command H D Kumaraswamy.

Shivakumar said, "Kumaraswamy and BJP leaders talk a lot about women. If they really have any respect for women, they must express solidarity with the victims by paying them a visit."

BJP can't remain with those who commit atrocities against women: Amit Shah on Prajwal Revanna

Hubballi (Karnataka) | Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said that the BJP cannot remain with those who commit atrocities against women, referring to the sexual abuse allegations against JDS Lok Sabha poll candidate Prajwal Revanna.

He also blamed the Congress government in Karnataka for not acting against the Hassan MP till the Lok Sabha elections in the Vokkaliga belt were over.

Prajwal is the grandson of former Prime Minister and JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda and son of former minister H D Revanna. He is seeking a re-election from Hassan on the JD(S) ticket.

Just before the elections, a huge cache of explicit videos and photographs, allegedly involving him have gone viral in the social media, following which the Karnataka government constituted the SIT on the request of Karnataka State Commission for Women chairperson Nagalakshmi Chowdhary.

A case has been registered against Revanna and Prajwal at Holenarasipura on a complaint by their former cook and relative for allegedly sexually harassing her. She alleged that Prajwal made video calls to her daughter and spoke in an objectionable manner, which forced her to block him.

“We (BJP) have an alliance with the JD(S). Now (Prajwal) Revanna’s CD has come. They (Congress) thought they can corner the BJP. I am making it clear here BJP cannot remain with those who commit atrocities against women,” the Home Minister said at a public meeting.

He said Congress is in power in the state and it should have taken action.

“You did not initiate any action till the elections in the Vokkaliga belt were over. You did politics and allowed him (Prajwal Revanna) to escape. If you have guts tell the truth. Because of you, a heinous criminal fled the country,” Shah said.

Vokkaliga is the dominant community in the southern part of Karnataka, to which the JD(S)' first family belongs. They wield influence in the 14 Lok Sabha seats which went to polls on April 26. Polling in the remaining 14 seats will take place on May 7.

The BJP’s stand was clear that stringent punishment should be given to those who commit such crimes, shah added.

He also accused Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of politicising the drought relief issue.

Responding to Congress' charge that the Centre intentionally delayed disbursal of funds to mitigate the drought in Karnataka till the state government approached the Supreme Court, Amit Shah said there was a delay from Karnataka in making the request.

“I want to tell you why there was delay in releasing drought relief funds. The Chief Minister and his Deputy D K Shivakumar fight with each other. The Deputy CM tries to pull down the CM... They caused the delay in submitting the request,” the Union Minister claimed.

He pointed out that the Karnataka government has written three memoranda.

By the time the third memorandum came, the model code of conduct came into effect, which led to the delay in releasing the central aid, Shah said claiming that the Congress government was levelling false accusations against the BJP.

The Karnataka government had sought Rs 18,171 crore from the Centre from the National Disaster Response Fund to overcome drought prevailing in 226 out of 236 Taluks of the state but it got Rs 3,454 crore after it moved the apex court in the middle of the election.

Referring to the Rameswaram Cafe blast, Shah alleged that soon after the Congress came to power, a blast took place in Bengaluru city, which the Siddaramaiah government initially called as cylinder explosion.

Referring to the Neha Hiremath murder case, Shah said if the Congress was unable to protect the people of the state, it should step down and allow the BJP to run it in a better way.

He also took strong exception to the alleged Pakistan Zindabad slogans raised in the Vidhana Soudha corridors on February 27.

Noting that the 2024 Lok Sabha election was a historic one between two camps, Shah said, “On the one hand there is a brother and a sister who go abroad on vacation and there is a person (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) who did not take any leave in the last 23 years and celebrates Deepavali with soldiers.”

Lashing out at the Congress, the Union Minister said while the Centre banned the Popular Front of India (PFI), the grand old party took the support of its political arm, SDPI.

The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) had proclaimed support for Congress-led UDF in Kerala in 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Shah declared that a third term for Modi would mean the end of terrorism and naxalism, and making India the third major economy in the world.

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