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  Opinion   Edit  30 Apr 2024  AA Edit | Take strict action against Karnataka MP in sex scandal

AA Edit | Take strict action against Karnataka MP in sex scandal

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : May 1, 2024, 12:05 am IST
Updated : May 1, 2024, 12:05 am IST

Accusations of Sexual Assault by JDS Leader Prompt Special Investigation Amid Political Fallout

JD(S) leader Prajwal. (AA File Image)
 JD(S) leader Prajwal. (AA File Image)

The allegations that have been surfacing against Prajwal Revanna, the Lok Sabha member from Hassan in Karnataka and the National Democratic Alliance’s candidate in the constituency, appear to be unparalleled in terms of their criminal nature and hence call for immediate action.  

As per the allegations which have surfaced after the polling in the constituency was over, the 33-year-old Janata Dal (Secular) leader has shot as many as 3,000 videos in which he allegedly sexually assaulted women, elected members of local bodies and even some minors who went to seek help from him. The victims are estimated to number around 1,000 and one of them has come forward to lodge a police complaint against Mr Revanna. The victim also alleged sexual assault by H.D. Revanna, the MP’s father and an MLA. The Karnataka government has formed a special team to investigate the case against the MP, who is also the grandson of former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda. It is alleged that the accused has fled the country and is in Germany at the moment.

The story so far reveals all the hues of a typical episode about a spoilt brat fed on power and pelf and hence has all the chances of an ending in a sham investigation and the man coming back into limelight to “serve the nation and the people” again.

The MP, as expected, has pleaded innocence and alleged that the videos are morphed. It is for the government of Karnataka to ensure that the cases are investigated thoroughly and prosecuted with a view to serving justice to the victims. Political equations and expediency should not become an impediment in the process. It is understood that the National Commission for Women has also taken cognisance of the case and has asked for a report from the Karnataka police. Every entity mandated to serve the cause of women must chip in.

The JD(S) has announced that it has suspended the leader and he will remain suspended until the investigation is over. It cannot be that the antecedents of the leader who is facing allegations of serial sexual abuse of hundreds of women are a secret unknown to the party leadership. That only speaks to the immunity such people enjoy. Given the nature of allegations, the party must at least now expel the man until such time that he has proved his innocence.

The NDA cannot wash its hands of the developments fully. Reports suggest that BJP’s local leaders had indeed warned the leadership against the candidature of Mr Revanna from the alliance platform. But they did not bear down strongly enough which resulted in Prime Minister Narendra Modi sharing the stage with him and in fact seeking votes for him. The party cannot wash this “taint” away saying it acted out of the compulsions of coalition politics.

The choice of alliance thus reflects poorly on the BJP.

The BJP cannot also be said to be very alert to allegations of sexual abuse by its rank and file as was evidenced with regard to Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the former chief of Wrestling Federation of India and Lok Sabha member from the party. A sexual harassment case against him is currently being heard by a Delhi court.

Tags: aa edit, sexual harrassment, prajwal revanna