BJP knew of Prajwal Revanna’s ‘videos’, yet went ahead with alliance, fielded him as Hassan NDA candidate

Devaraje Gowda, BJP's Holenarsipura candidate in the 2023 elections, said he had informed the party about Prajwal but no one paid heed to it.

ByNolan Patrick Pinto

Published Apr 29, 2024 | 3:00 PMUpdatedApr 29, 2024 | 4:17 PM

Prajwal Revanna with BJP Karnataka chief BY Vijayendra. (X)

Amidst the calls for the arrest of JD(S) MP and its Lok Sabha candidate from Hassan, Prajwal Revanna, over his alleged involvement in sexually abusing hundreds of women, a state BJP leader said he had warned the party about this in December 2023.

Devaraje Gowda, the BJP’s candidate from the Holenarsipura in the 2023 Karnataka Assembly elections, said he had informed the party about Prajwal but no state leader paid heed to it.

He had written that he had received a pen drive with some 3,000 odd videos of women, including government officials, performing sexual acts with Prajwal.

He also alleged that Prajwal Revanna was using the footage to blackmail the women to continue engaging in such activities.

A couple of days ahead of the Lok Sabha election in Karnataka on 26 April, explicit videos of Prajwal with several women had gone viral in Hassan with allegations of sexual abuse against him.

Subsequently, on 27 April, the state government formed an SIT to probe the allegations.

Also Read: Priyanka Gandhi slams BJP over ‘sex scandal’ involving Prajwal Revanna

‘State leaders failed to address the issue’

Speaking to South First, Devaraje Gowda says, “On 8-12-2023, I wrote a letter to the national president, national leaders and the state leaders. It clearly stated about the activities of Prajwal Revanna and his family members.”

“The state leaders might have overlooked the mistakes even after I provided this evidence. They also failed to convince the national leaders properly. They did not convince them,” he said.

He further added, “The contentions in the letter were that the whole family was involved in illegal activities and mistreatment of women. We attempted to notify the leaders (about it) but then probably, the circumstances were that they were preparing for elections and they did not convey the matter in a serious note (to the national leadership).”

The letter, addressed to BJP state president BY Vijayendra, said, “There are grave allegations against several leaders of the HD Deve Gowda family, including Prajwal Revanna, the NDA candidate of the JD(S), the party that we are in alliance with”.

The letter also informed about the potential chaos this would bring to the image of the party.

“If we align with the JD(S) and if we nominate a JD(S) candidate in Hassan for the Lok Sabha elections, these videos can be used as a ‘Brahmastra’ (destructive weapon), and we will be tainted as a party that aligned with the family of a rapist. This will be a big blow to the image of our party nationally.”

Also Read: Survivor files complaint, accuses JD(S) MP Prajwal, his father Revanna of sexual abuse

Videos reached Congress leaders

Devaraje says that the contents of the pen drive reached senior Congress leaders like DK Shivakumar and DK Suresh before he got his hands on them.

This pen drive contained 2,976 videos and some of the women featured in the footage were government officials, he claimed.

On Sunday, former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, uncle of Prajwal, said: “Let the facts regarding the Hassan issue, which started during elections, come out through a probe. Whoever it is, who has committed the mistake as per the law of the land…there is no question of forgiving anyone who has committed the mistake. So let the facts come out from the probe, after that, I will react.”

Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi has called for the cancellation of elections in the Hassan constituency. She also questioned the silence of the BJP national leadership.

There are also calls for the expulsion of Prajwal Revanna from the party.

JD(S) Mulbagal MLA Samruddhi Manjunath said, “… Hassan’s obscene videos are circulating in the media, it has embarrassed party workers. President HD Devegowda and HD Kumaraswamy should make a proper decision. They should decide whether 19 MLAs or HD Revanna and Prajwal are important (for the party). Revanna and Prajwal should be expelled within 24 hours to save the party’s principles and save us from embarrassment…”

Karnataka Women and Child Development Minister Laxmi Hebbalkar speaking to ANI, said, “Such an incident has never taken place in our country and the world. Prajwal Revanna is a JD(S) MP from Hassan. Union HM Amit Shah, Karnataka BJP chief BY Vijayendra knew about such CDs and videos as BJP leader Devarajegowda wrote a letter to BY Vijayendra and also spoke with him.”

“When Amit Shah came to Mysuru, BJP leaders Preetham Gowda and AT Ramaswamy insisted not to form an alliance with JD(S). Despite having all this info, Amit Shah, JP Nadda, and PM Modi formed an alliance… Our CM has formed an SIT but I just want to know the stand of BJP. Where is NCW chief Rekha Sharma? Where is JP Nadda, why is he not saying anything? I want to know if BJP will remain in alliance with JD(S) or not?…” she said questioning the BJP.

Meanwhile, Indian Youth Congress national president BV Srinivas said that despite the gravity of the situation, the BJP leadership has remained inexplicably silent.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)