Prajwal Revanna ‘sex scandal’ | Who allowed him to leave the country? Shah and Congress leaders point fingers at each other

Union Home Minister Amit Shah accused the Congress government in Karnataka of “allowing him to flee the country”

May 01, 2024 09:54 pm | Updated May 02, 2024 05:05 pm IST - Hubballi/Bengaluru

Parents of Neha Hiremath met Union Minister for Home Amit Shah in Hubballi on Wednesday. Union Minister Pralhad Joshi was also present.

Parents of Neha Hiremath met Union Minister for Home Amit Shah in Hubballi on Wednesday. Union Minister Pralhad Joshi was also present.

Continuing his effort to deflect blame in the Prajwal Revanna “sex scandal” episode, which has embarrassed the Janata Dal (Secular) and its alliance partner the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday accused the Congress government in Karnataka of “allowing him to flee the country”. Going a step further, he accused both Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar of “not taking any action before completion of the polling in the Vokkaliga belt of the State”.

This comes on a day when Mr. Siddaramaiah wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention to “ensure the swift return of the absconding Member of Parliament to face the full force of the law”. The accused MP is believed to be in Germany and in a social media post stated that he had sought seven days to return and face the probe in the case.

Watch | Prajwal Revanna sex scandal: all you need to know

Addressing an election rally at Nehru Stadium in Hubballi, Mr. Shah clarified that although Mr. Prajwal Revanna was an ally, “the party would not stand with him” and they would “ensure that most severe punishment was given to him”.

“Our stand is clear. Whoever he might be, let him be punished and there should be no delay. If you had courage you should have taken action immediately. But because of you, he fled the country. Even in such cases of heinous crime, they (Congress) are doing politics,” he alleged.

Several BJP leaders throughout the day took the same line and blamed the Congress for “allowing” Mr. Prajwal Revanna to leave. Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly R. Ashok demanded that the SIT should also look into the call records between Mr. Siddaramaiah and Mr. Prajwal Revanna’s father, H. D. Revanna, suggesting the Chief Minister had allowed passage. He alleged that it would not have been possible for Mr. Prajwal Revanna to leave the country without the cooperation from the Congress government. “Did the Intelligence not alert the Chief Minister about his whereabouts?” Mr. Ashok wondered.

Priyanka’s charge

On Tuesday too, Mr. Shah had responded to Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi’s attack on the Union government that while the Prime Minister knew of the movement of all Opposition leaders, “such a criminal was allowed to flee the country”. He had slammed the Congress government in the State for delay in action against Mr. Prajwal Revanna, arguing that law and order was a State subject. 

Contradicting the charge, Mr. Siddaramaiah said, “The constitution of the SIT was done as soon as the true nature of the alleged crimes against several women emerged and the victims came forward to file a complaint against Prajwal Revanna and an FIR was lodged on 28/04/2024.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Shivakumar and JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy continued to spar over over who was behind the distribution of pen drives containing the videos involving Mr. Prajwal Revanna. While the latter continued to make remarks suggesting that the former was involved in it, Mr. Shivakumar said, “If Mr. Kumaraswamy and BJP leaders really have any respect for women, they must express solidarity with the victims by paying them a visit.” 

His brother and Bengaluru MP D.K. Suresh said, “Mr. Kumaraswamy and some BJP leaders had information about Prajwal Revanna’s pen drive before anyone else. They are trying to blame it on Mr. Shivakumar to save themselves.”

Shah meets Neha’s family

Mr. Shah met the family of Neha Hiremath, who was killed on the college campus on April 18 in Hubballi. The BJP has called this a case of “love jihad”.

On Wednesday, he blamed the Karnataka government for the murder. “Whose responsibility is it to provide security?... If you can’t protect women, leave it to us. We will make Karnataka safe for women.” The family, in a petition to the Home Minister, has sought “punishment of the highest order” to the perpetrator of the crime in the case.

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