JD(S) lawmaker seeks Prajwal Revanna’s expulsion over sexual harassment charges | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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JD(S) lawmaker seeks Prajwal Revanna’s expulsion over sexual harassment charges

Apr 29, 2024 01:02 PM IST

Sharan Gouda Kandkur, the JD(S) legislator, wrote to the party’s national president and Prajwal’s Revanna grandfather, HD Deve Gowda, demanding action

A Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) legislator known to be close to former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy on Monday sought the expulsion of the party’s member of Parliament (MP) Prajwal Revanna a day he was booked for sexual harassment along with his father HD Revanna.

Congress supporters protesting against JD(S) leaders. (ANI)
Congress supporters protesting against JD(S) leaders. (ANI)

The allegations of sexual harassment are believed to have tipped the scales in favour of Kumaraswamy in his struggle for the JD(S)’s control with his brother, HD Revanna.

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Sharan Gouda Kandkur, the JD(S) legislator, wrote to the party’s national president and Prajwal’s Revanna grandfather, HD Deve Gowda, demanding action. “In the past few days, videos showing sexual acts have been circulated statewide, causing huge embarrassment for the party. It appears to involve Prajwal Revanna, as he was seen in some parts of the video. At first glance, it seems he is the accused. Hence, I request you to immediately expel him from the party,” wrote Kandkur.

Kumaraswamy, who has been involved in a feud with his brother HD Revanna, is believed to have had reservations about renominating Prajwal Revanna as the party’s candidate from Hassan. “The reason was the declining popularity of [HD] Revanna, his wife Bhavani, and Prajwal [Revanna]. While Prajwal faced anti-incumbency, Bhavani became a hated figure after creating a ruckus when a farmer’s vehicle hit her car,” said a JD(S) leader. He added Kumaraswamy was now expected to get greater control over the party.

Kandkur sought action even as JD(S) has maintained it would wait for the findings of the probe into the matter.

The allegations against the JD(S) leaders have also put the ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a bind and cast a shadow over its campaign in the state. A BJP leader, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they have decided to distance themselves from the controversy. “The alliance...was focused more on south Karnataka [where elections were held on April 26] because that is where they have a footing,” said the leader. “As much as Kumaraswamy claims they influence parts of north Karnataka, we know it is not significant. On the ground, we do not see people in north Karnataka [where polling is due on May 7] talking about the issue,” he added.

BJP leaders said Devaraje Gowda, a leader of the party from Hassan district, had warned the state leadership about allegations that Prajwal Revanna was sexually abusing women months before his name was announced as the National Democratic Alliance candidate for Hassan. Devaraje Gowda wrote a letter asking state party chief B Y Vijayendra to bring this information to the attention of national leaders.

A series of obscene videos purportedly involving Prajwal Revanna, who left the country even as a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was formed to probe into the allegations, have been circulating. Some of the videos appeared to depict sexual assault. Prajwal Revanna claimed the videos were fake and intended to defame him. He sought a court injunction last year against the airing of videos.

A first information report alleging sexual harassment was lodged on Sunday against Prajwal Revanna and HD Revanna, who is an assembly member, on the complaint of a woman who worked at their home. The woman alleged she was sexually abused multiple times between 2019 and 2022.

In her complaint, the woman claimed HD Revanna and Prajwal Revanna used to sexually assault women workers in their homes. Based on the complaint, police registered a case under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 354A (sexual harassment), 354D (stalking), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 509 (outraging modesty of a woman).

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