Apologise to the nation for campaigning for a ‘mass rapist’, Rahul tells Modi

Congress leader goes hammer and tongs at the BJP for supporting Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna

May 02, 2024 09:56 pm | Updated May 03, 2024 12:31 pm IST - Shivamogga/Raichur

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi speaking at public meeting in Raichur on Thursday.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi speaking at public meeting in Raichur on Thursday. | Photo Credit: Santosh Sagar

Calling Janata Dal (Secular) leader and Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna, a “mass rapist”, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologise to the nation for campaigning for such a candidate.

Mr. Prajwal Revanna is the NDA candidate from the same constituency in the Lok Sabha elections.

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

Speaking in Raichur and Shivamogga at election rallies on Thursday, Mr. Gandhi came down heavily on the BJP national leadership for “supporting Prajwal Revanna”.

Speaking in Shivamogga, he said: “Prajwal Revanna’s case is not just a sex scandal. It is a case of mass rape.” He claimed that Mr. Modi knew about his case when he campaigned for the accused in the Lok Sabha elections.

“The Prime Minister should apologise to the nation for campaigning for him,” Mr. Gandhi demanded.

Early alert

In Raichur, he displayed a copy of the letter said to be written by a local BJP leader in Hassan, Devaraje Gowda, to top leaders of the party about the alleged sexual crimes of Mr. Prajwal Revanna and questioned why Mr. Modi shared the dais with the accused “despite knowing the facts”.

Mr. Gandhi said: “Mr. Prajwal Revanna had sexually assaulted around 400 women and video-recorded the offence. Even after he was notified about the sexual crimes of Mr. Prajwal Revanna, the [Union] Home Minister did not say anything. After that, the Prime Minister shared dais with Mr. Prajwal Revanna and sought votes for him... I would like to ask the mothers and sisters of this country as to why Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought votes for this man even after knowing his sexual crimes.” Mr. Gandhi also blamed the Prime Minister and [Union] Home Minister for allowing the accused to escape from India despite knowing his sexual crimes.

“The Prime Minister has all agencies such as CBI, Customs Department, and Immigration Department under him and he could have got him [Mr. Prajwal Revanna] within a second. But he did not arrest him but let him run away from the country. Now, the Prime Minister is afraid of coming to Karnataka. He has cancelled all his meetings. But women of Karnataka know that you had protected Mr. Prajwal Revanna because you wanted power and his alliance,” Mr. Gandhi charged.

On the Constitution

At the Shivamogga rally, he alleged that BJP president J.P. Nadda had attacked the Indian Constitution by calling those who advocate for equality as “Naxals” in an interview.

“The Indian Constitution, for which B.R. Ambedkar’s contribution was significant, clearly stressed the need for equality. However, the BJP president has thrown away the Constitution with his statement,” he said.

“This is the first election in which the BJP has clearly stated that they want to change the Constitution. But the Congress has been trying to protect it,” he said, showing a copy of the Constitution that he carried.

Referring to the Prime Minister’s statement that he would protect the Constitution, Mr. Gandhi wanted to know if he had such an intention and why the party’s president was attacking the statute.

“If the Dalits, other backward classes, and Adivasis demand equality, you call them Naxals. There cannot be a bigger attack on Indian Constitution than his [BJP president’s] statement,” he said.

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