Bengaluru- The political slugfest in Karnataka continues over the alleged sex video scandal involving JD-S leader Prajwal Revanna, the grandson of former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, with Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar on Tuesday claiming that he doesn’t blackmail others with pen drives and CDs like former Chief Minister and senior JD-S leader H.D. Kumaraswamy.

On Tuesday morning, the JD-S suspended Prajwal Revanna, the sitting party MP and Lok Sabha candidate from Hassan, after the Congress government in Karnataka formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe allegations of sexual abuse against him.

Kumaraswamy had earlier lashed out at Shivakumar and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on the issue involving his nephew Prajwal Revanna, accusing the Congress leader of circulating the videos.

Speaking to reporters here, Shivakumar said, “I fight my fights directly… I don’t blackmail people with pen drives and CDs like Kumaraswamy. Taking fights head-on is in my blood.”

Asked about Kumaraswamy’s allegation that Shivakumar was behind circulating the video clips, the Congress leader said, “Prajwal Revanna himself has admitted that they are all old clips. BJP’s Devaraje Gowda had written to the BJP leaders about this case. He also spoke to the media about it. Where is the question of me bringing up the case? As the saying goes, you reap what you sow.”

“Kumaraswamy and his family members seem to be obsessed with me. During campaigning in Hassan, Kumaraswamy said Prajwal Revanna was like his son, but now he says this issue doesn’t concern his family, ” Shivakumar said.

Asked about Devaraje Gowda’s statement that Shivakumar and his brother D.K. Suresh were aware of the pen drive containing alleged clips of Prajwal Revanna, he said, “If we were aware of the issue, we would have released the clips much earlier.

“Devaraje Gowda has said that his driver informed him about the matter. We don’t report to such cheap tactics. This issue is about women. As per the information I have, it is about 200-300 women and their families, including party workers. There were murmurs about the pen drive for some time, which I also heard as the President of the state Congress.”

Stating that Amit Shah recently said Karnataka is not safe for women, Shivakumar said, “Our government arrested the suspect in the Hubballi incident (where a girl student was murdered on the college campus) and handed over the probe to the CID. Women are more safe in Karnataka compared to most states in the country. But the BJP leaders are not talking about the pen drive issue, which shows their mindset.”

He also claimed that Amit Shah has said the state government has not taken any action in the pen drive case.

“While we have filed a case in the matter, the BJP must answer who let Prajwal Revanna flee the country. Check the call logs and then you will know who spoke to whom before Prajwal Revanna fled the country, ” he said.

On the JD-S expelling Prajwal Revanna from the party, Shivakumar said, “It is only an eyewash, it doesn’t make any difference… I would like to ask Amit Shah if they would like to continue their alliance with a party like JD-S. On one hand, BJP says it respects women, but on the other hand, the party is continuing its alliance with the JD-S.”

Asked why JD-S MLA and Prajwal’s father H.D. Revanna, who is an accused in a case of sexual harassment, hasn’t been arrested yet, Shivakumar said, “The investigating officers are doing their job. Since Kumaraswamy and Amit Shah took my name, I am giving a clarification. We are committed to protecting the dignity of women in the state.”

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