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It will echo in rest of Lok Sabha polls, BJP to have tough job explaining: Shashi Tharoor on Prajwal Revanna sex scandal

Prajwal and his father H D Revanna, former Karnataka minister, were booked by police on Sunday on charges of sexual harassment and criminal intimidation based on a complaint from a woman, who worked in their household.
Last Updated : 02 May 2024, 12:57 IST
Last Updated : 02 May 2024, 12:57 IST

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New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has said the alleged sex scandal involving JD(S) MP Prajwal Revanna will echo in the remaining phases of the Lok Sabha polls not just in Karnataka but elsewhere as the BJP will have a tough job explaining its position after having campaigned for the accused in the elections.

Prajwal and his father H D Revanna, former Karnataka minister, were booked by police on Sunday on charges of sexual harassment and criminal intimidation based on a complaint from a woman, who worked in their household.

Prajwal is the grandson of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and nephew of Karnataka former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy.

Faced with unrelenting attack from the Congress and other political parties, the JD(S), an ally of the BJP, suspended Prajwal.

Asked whether the scandal would affect the BJP in the polls, Tharoor said, "The fact is that the gentleman is an ally of the BJP. The BJP has campaigned for him in the recently-concluded elections. So, they would have a tough job explaining if they really had no idea, as it turns out that they did have an idea and that a BJP legislator had access to all these compromising videos, or incriminating videos, for some time before the elections."

"Given these circumstances, I think the damage is to the BJP. Now the BJP is trying to turn the tables and say why hasn't the Congress taken any action and why did the Congress permit him to leave. The Congress was unaware of this and was not given this information," he said during an interaction with PTI editors at the agency's headquarters here.

Tharoor said the SIT was set up by the state government immediately and if Prajwal Revanna had not made an exit in haste, he may well have been trapped with a look out notice for him.

"Certainly in the remaining phases, this is going to echo, and it is not just in Karnataka, for example in next door Telangana, there is a roaring controversy and some women activists have come out strongly, saying 'when will the patriarchy in this country wake up and realise how women are being abused and what have they done about it?'. It is turning the expression of this feeling not just against all men in general but particularly those who are ruling the country today," Tharoor said.

All of this is definitely going to have an impact, principally on the BJP, and second on systems that have empowered men like this to be predators as they have been, the Congress leader said.

The Congress has kept up the heat on its rival BJP over the matter.

Besides Rahul Gandhi, his sister and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi has also hit out at the BJP on the sexual abuse allegations against Prajwal and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought votes for him and did not stop the JD(S) leader from leaving the country.

Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday had launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the sexual abuse allegations against Prajwal, asking whether being part of "Modi's political family" a "guarantee of protection for criminals".

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Published 02 May 2024, 12:57 IST

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