Home Minister Amit Shah slams Karnataka government for its failure to act in the Revanna sexual exploitation case

Prajwal Revanna is a JD(S) MP and NDA candidate from the Hassan seat; Home Minister allays fears triggered by a “deep fake” video that the BJP seeks to end reservations; only wants to end Muslim quota, he says

April 30, 2024 11:29 am | Updated 10:12 pm IST - Guwahati

A file photo of Union Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah

A file photo of Union Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah | Photo Credit: PTI

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on April 30 slammed the Congress government in Karnataka for its alleged failure to take action against Prajwal Revanna, a Janata Dal (Secular) MP and the grandson of former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, who has been accused of sexually exploiting a large number of women, with hundreds of explicit video clips in circulation allegedly showing these assaults.

The JD(S) is a member of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and Mr. Revanna is the NDA candidate from the Hassan constituency, which went to the polls on April 26.

Prajwal Revanna sexual harassment case | Former driver of family releases video statement, says he will submit video documents of case to SIT

“The BJP stands with matri shakti (maternal power) and nari shakti (women’s power). [Prime Minister] Narendra Modiji is firm that any incident of insult to nari shakti anywhere will not be tolerated,” Mr. Shah told journalists in Guwahati, adding that the Karnataka government should be held accountable for not taking action in the Revanna case.

‘Why no probe?’

The Congress, which is running the government in Karnataka, is trying to blame us.... Why has it not taken action so far? We do not have to take action as law and order is a State subject,” he said. “Priyankaji [Gandhi Vadra] is questioning me and Modiji. She should instead ask her Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister what their government is doing. Why is there no probe?” he asked.

Mr. Shah said the JD(S) would possibly take steps on the Revanna issue during its core committee meeting on Tuesday. “Such incidents have no place anywhere and stringent measures should be taken. This is the BJP’s stand and there should not be any confusion about it,” he asserted. The JD(S) suspended Mr. Revanna after its core committee meeting.

Deep-fake video

The Home Minister also criticised Congress leaders for their alleged involvement in creating and circulating what he termed a “deep-fake” video. The doctored video shows Mr. Shah addressing a rally in Telangana and vowing to end all reservations for Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and other backward classes (OBCs). In the original video — which was played on a screen at his press conference alongside the fake version — he can be heard saying that if the BJP came to power, it would end the unconstitutional quota given to Muslims.

He allayed fears that the BJP was working toward ending all forms of quota. “We support reservation for the SC, ST, and OBC categories of people. It is the Congress that has politicised the issue to create confusion,” he said, referring to a quota for Muslims introduced by the Congress in undivided Andhra Pradesh.

Unconstitutional Muslim quota

“Because of the Muslim quota, the [scope of] OBC reservation dropped. Then in Karnataka, they brought all Muslims under the OBC [category] overnight and gave a 4% quota to them. This affected the other backward communities,” Mr. Shah said. Stating that the BJP views religion-based quotas as unconstitutional, he said the party would abolish such reservation when it comes to power in these States and would give justice to people belonging to SC, ST, and OBC categories.

“The frustration of the Congress has reached such a level that they made fake videos of me and some other BJP leaders and circulated them. Luckily, what I said was recorded and today, a prominent Congress leader is facing criminal charges. The Congress started taking politics to the lowest level from the time Rahul Gandhi took command,” he said.

Decisive mandate

He added that the BJP, which has headed the government at the Centre with a majority for 10 years, did not use its mandate to stifle democracy like the Congress did by imposing an Emergency. “We used the mandate to abolish Article 370 and triple talaq, bring laws based on Indian culture by replacing British laws, and fight COVID,” the Home Minister said, pointing out that the Ram Temple in Ayodhya had been constructed after a court judgement permitting it.

Citing an internal assessment, Mr. Shah said that the BJP-led NDA was ahead in more than 100 of the 190 Lok Sabha seats where voting has been completed in the first two phases of the election on April 19 and April 26.

“We are crossing the 400-plus mark because of a great electoral success in Assam, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Uttarakhand. The BJP is also getting a good response in the south Indian states,” he said.

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