Mr Gowda said only the Congress benefited from the release of the videos.

New Delhi:

The controversy over the alleged sex scandal involving Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna has escalated with his former driver and a BJP leader accusing each other of leaking the videos in which he can allegedly be seen sexually assaulting multiple women.

Mr Revanna, who is the grandson of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and nephew of former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy was suspended from the Janata Dal (Secular) earlier today because of the videos. The 33-year-old left for Germany on Saturday, a day after polling took place in his constituency and shortly after the videos began circulating online. 

In a video posted on social media, Karthik, who claimed he worked as Mr Revanna’s driver for 15 years, said he had given the videos only to BJP leader G Devaraje Gowda. He said he did this since had Mr Gowda contested and lost against Mr Revanna’s father, HD Revanna, from the Holenarasipura constituency in the 2023 Karnataka Assembly polls.

“I heard Mr Gowda mention that I gave the pen drive containing the videos to Congress leaders. These are lies. I had approached him since he was a BJP candidate in the last Assembly elections. I thought I would get justice from him. I didn’t give it to anyone else because the Congress was in an alliance with the JDS earlier. I went to this BJP leader, but he cheated me,” Karthik said.

The former driver said he had seen the good and bad times of the Deve Gowda family when he worked there as a driver. “I held a press conference earlier and another person who worked there also spoke out. I hope more people will come forward,” he said.

On Saturday, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah ordered the constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) to look into the allegations and Karthik said he will approach the team with documents and evidence.

“The reason (for distancing from Mr Revanna) was that my land was taken away and my wife was beaten up. I was mentally tortured. Because my land was taken away, I came out of the job and started my fight (to get back land),” Karthik said in the message, according to news agency PTI, adding that Mr Gowda had written to the BJP brass not to give a ticket to Mr Revanna.

‘Why Would We Release Videos?’

Mr Gowda told reporters that Karthik had been seen several times with Mr Revanna’s Congress rival from Hassan constituency, Shreyas Patel.

“If there was someone benefiting from this, it was the Congress. Only for his political gain, the Congress candidate (Shreyas Patel) has mortgaged the modesty of women seen in the videos,” Mr Gowda was quoted as saying in the PTI report. 

The BJP leader said neither the JDS nor his party would release the videos as doing so would hurt the NDA, and that he would give important documents to the SIT when they serve him a notice. “Congress leaders will fall in the ditch they have dug for others,” he added.

An FIR has been registered against the Holenarasipura police station against Mr Revanna and his father for allegedly sexually harassing their former cook.  Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara has said that the Hassan MP will be asked to return to India by the SIT.