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Rediff.com  » News » 'Prajwal Revanna is completely trapped'

'Prajwal Revanna is completely trapped'

By PRASANNA D ZORE
May 02, 2024 09:00 IST
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'Pura phas gaya woh... barbad, satyanash ho gaya woh.
'Usko ticket bhi diya, election bhi ladha woh; ganda video bhi bahar aa gaya; hamara izzat bhi nikal diya woh; abhi letter ke baare main pooch ke kya hota hai?.'

IMAGE: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra D Modi campaigns for Janata Dal-Secular candidate Prajwal Revanna, right, April 14, 2024. Photograph: Kind courtesy @narendramodi/X
 

G Devaraje Gowda -- who has emerged as a sort of awhistleblower in the alleged Prajwal Revanna sex video scandal -- tells Prasanna D Zore/Rediff.com that he wrote e-mails to the Bharatiya Janata Party's Karnataka unit president B Y Vijayendra, Prime Minister Narendra D Modi, BJP national President Jagat Prakash Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit A Shah, but all these mails bounced and returned undelivered in his mailbox.

Gowda, who contested, and lost, the 2019 Lok Sabha election from Hassan against Prajwal Revanna, says he tried his best to reveal Prajwal Revanna's alleged sexual assaults evidenced through a pen drive that contains more than 2,300 sleazy videos, allegedly shot by Prajwal Revanna himself, and save the party's honour, but failed.

"I sent these letters to save my party's honour. But I failed to secure my party's honour; he got the ticket and Prajwal Revanna brought disrepute to Hassan's culture and reputation," says Gowda, a practicing lawyer who represents Prajwal Revanna's driver Karthik Reddy, the man who handed over the pen drive to Gowda.

"I don't have that much value (in the BJP). Only people who are valued, people who these leaders think are responsible get permission to meet them. There are so many security layers (one has to cross before reaching out to the prime minister, home minister, and BJP president). I am sure I would have spent my life getting an appointment with these leaders," offers Gowda explaining the reason behind why he couldn't communicate with the BJP's senior leaders in Delhi or Karnataka.

You had written a letter to Karnataka BJP president B Y Vijayendra cautioning him about the BJP forming an alliance with the Janata Dal-Secular. What did you write in your letter?

I had said that we will need to be very clever if we were to forge an alliance with the JD-S. I had warned that the sitting MP of Hassan (Prajwal Revanna) is facing serious allegations of sexual misconduct and assault.

Everybody in Hassan knows about the (alleged sex) videos of Revanna. If we allowed him (Prajwal Revanna) to contest from Hassan, then he would surely face defeat.

I had also mentioned about the pen drive (that reportedly has video clips of sexual acts allegedly recorded and performed by Prajwal Revanna) in my letter.

One of my clients (Prajwal Revanna's car driver Karthik Reddy who wanted to file a legal suit against Prajwal Revanna for alleged land grab) gave this pen drive to me which had ashleel, ganda-ganda (sleazy) videos; woh mamla main phas gaya ye (and that Prajwal Revanna won't be able to come out of this trap); that even if we allied with the JD-S, then we should not allow Prajwal Revanna to contest from Hassan.

If we did, then it will lead to a scandal and unnecessarily spoil the BJP's good image.

I had mailed this letter to our state president e-mail's ID, but the mail bounced and came back undelivered to me.

Then I clicked a photograph of this letter and sent it to our state president (B Y Vijayendra) over WhatApp.

Since he was a newly elected state president (Vijayendra was appointed president on November 10, 2023) then he would travel across Karnataka for the BJP's organisational base. So he must not have got the time to check my message.

So this message did not get communicated to him and so nobody in the party came to know about this (sex videos allegedly filmed by Prajwal Revanna).

I also sent an e-mail to the central BJP leaders.

I had mailed this letter to Modiji, Naddaji and Amit Shahji. But what happened was these e-mails bounced and came back undelivered to me. The undelivered e-mail said that the e-mail addresses (on which he mailed Modi, Nadda and Shah) were not found.

I got their e-mail addresses by searching it on Google (Gowda dilly-dallied about the Web site from where he got the e-mail IDs of Modi, Nadda and Shah; he later said he would send the photographs of the e-mail which bounced and remained undelivered; repeated requests on SMS, WhatsApp evinced no response since the evening of April 30, 2024; this interview was recorded between 7 pm and 7.30 pm on April 30; when contacted at 4 pm on May 1, G Devaraje Gowda said the e-mail he had sent to Modi, Nadda and Shah was confidential and he could not share it).

Could you please specify the e-mail IDs on which you sent a mail to Mr Modi, Mr Nadda and Mr Shah?

I can't tell you now; I found it on the Google Web site.

Did you get Mr Modi's e-mail ID from narendramodi.in?

I don't know. I just typed PM Office Web site and contact on Google search and I got it. The mail bounced with the notice that 'e-mail ID not found'. I couldn't communicate (with Modi).

On which email IDs did you send your mail to Mr Shah and Mr Nadda?

On the same address.

Same address?

I mean the e-mail addresses that were available on the Web site that has office address and e-mail address.

Did you get the addresses of Mr Shah and Mr Nadda on the PMO Web site (pmindia.gov.in) or on bjp.org?

I got it from Google.

Could you please share the e-mail IDs on which you sent your letter?

I can't give that to you right now. I am not in front of my office computer and so I can't open my mailbox.

Could you please share the e-mail Ids when you have access to your office computer?

Yes.

IMAGE: Prajwal Revanna, the incumbent Janata Dal-Secular MP from Hassan. Photograph: @iPrajwalRevanna/X

What happened after the mails you sent to these three bounced?

There was a communication gap (I couldn't communicate about the Prajwal Revanna pen drive sex videos to Modiji). Then there was an alliance with the JD-S and they got three seats (H D Kumaraswamy contested from Mandya, Prajwal Revanna contested from Hassan and M M Mallesh Babu contested from Kolar; all the three seats went to the polls on April 26). We announced our candidates and the JD-S announced their candidates.

None of our party leaders knew anything about these Prajwal Revanna videos.

But didn't B Y Vijayendra and the BJP national general secretary know about the letter you had written to them?

I don't know if they read my letter or received my mail. I got no acknowledgement from them. I didn't get even a phone call from them (acknowledging that they got my letter in which I had written about the alleged sex tapes).

How will I know if they read my letter or not?

In your interviews to the India Today television channel you said you had sent hard copies to them as well.

When I took the hard copies of my letter to give it to the state president, he was not present at his office. He was on a tour of the state. So, I kept my letter at his desk and left his office.

Now, what happens is he gets thousands of letters every day. It is possible that this letter must have gotten misplaced and so I have no idea about if he read my letter or not.

He (Vijayendra) is asking me now if I had written such a letter to him. He said he is watching about it on TV. He asked me when and I told him that I had done so last December. He is saying he does not know about this letter

What's the point in discussing the matter now?

Pura phas gaya woh... barbad, satyanash ho gaya woh. Abhi letter ke bare main poocha toh kya ho jayega? Usko ticket bhi diya, election bhi ladha woh; ganda video bhi bahar aa gaya; hamara izzat bhi nikal diya woh; abhi letter ke baare main pooch ke kya hota hai? (He is completely trapped now; this video leak has completely ruined and annihilated his political career; what's the point of knowing if I had written such a letter? The JD-S gave him the ticket, he contested the election, just before the polling days the allegedly sleazy sex video surfaced in Hassan and that tarnished the BJP's image as well.)

Today, are you saying that you are not sure if B Y Vijayendra got the letters -- hard copy as well as the e-mail you had addressed to him and that the mails you had addressed to Mr Modi, Mr Nadda and Mr Shah returned undelivered?

Yes, that's true.

When you realised that the top BJP leaders who you sent these letters and e-mail may not have received them and that there was a communication gap at that time did you think of any other way of communicating with all these four leaders?

I am just not a member of a political party. I am also an advocate. I am a serious lawyer fighting a number of cases at the (Karnataka) high court. Every day I have to take care of 20-30 cases for which I have to travel to the court often.

Politics is just one part of my life. Advocacy is my full-time work.

I fought the 2023 Vidhan Sabha election as a BJP candidate (from Holenarsipur where G Devaraje Gowda stood fourth; the seat was won by H D Revanna, Prajwal Revanna's father) and I sent these letters to save my party's honour.

But I failed to secure my party's honour; he got the ticket and Prajwal Revanna brought disrepute to Hassan's culture and reputation.

When your client Karthik Reddy first handed over the pen drive containing Prajwal Revanna's alleged sex tapes why didn't you hand it over to the Karnataka police?

As an advocate who was looking after my client's interest, my duty was to first bring it to the court's notice and not give it to the police. But Prajwal Revanna filed a case against my client and brought a court injunction against the release of these videos.

That my client (Karthik Reddy) was respondent number 82 -- the first 81 respondents were different media organisations which also wanted to publish these tapes -- led to a technical problem.

If I had to jump this queue of 81 people, then I had to file a suit in court in which, as per the court procedure, I would have had to write about the people involved -- the alleged victims as well as the culprit. And that meant revealing the identities of the victims as well as the culprit.

I couldn't have approached the police first because this was a court matter. As an advocate, I had to first fulfill my legal duties.

Contesting the injunction order, I had asked for the reasons why Revanna brought an injunction order and on what grounds did the court passed such an order. But that would have mandated mentioning the history of all the victims.

If I had done that, then all the print and electronic media would have published these names and their identities and that could have severely harmed the lives of these victims.

This is a sex scandal. It would have tarnished their reputation for life.

IMAGE: A Congress protest in Bengaluru, April 28, 2024, demanding JD-S MP Prajwal Revanna's arrest over his alleged involvement in the sex scandal. Photograph: ANI Photo

Do you think it would have saved the BJP huge embarrassment if you had tried harder to bring these video tapes to the notice of Messrs Modi, Nadda and Shah?

I didn't have that much time.

You could have still brought it to Mr Vijayendra's notice?

I don't have that much value (in the BJP). Only people who are valued, people who these leaders think are responsible get permission to meet them. There are so many security layers (one has to cross before reaching out to the prime minister, home minister, and BJP president). I am sure I would have spent my life getting an appointment with these leaders.

Do you think if you had gone public in November-December 2023 revealing that there are video tapes of scandalous proportions of a JD-S leader, then that would have alerted senior BJP leaders?

Since I became the legal counsel (for Karthik Reddy) the ethics of my legal profession prevented me from discussing about these tapes with anybody. I am Karthik's legal counsel now.

Prajwal Revanna's uncle and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy indirectly hints that you have joined hands with a senior Congress leader from Karnataka -- indirectly hinting at Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar -- and since you are an adversary of the Gowda family you did this to malign the Gowdas. Your comments...

It is a baseless allegation. I have been fighting against them since 2019 (In 2019, after G Devaraje Gowda lost the Lok Sabha election to Prajwal Revanna he had challenged it in court. The Karnataka high court set aside Revann'a election victory in 2023 which was later restored by the Supreme Court).

I am a BJP man. If I had joined hands with D K Shivakumar, then would I not have become an MLA or a minister? Why would I support D K Shivakumar?

Do you think the alleged Prajwal Revanna sex tapes could harm the BJP's chances when the remaining 14 constituencies in Karnataka vote on May 7?

The BJP would not suffer any loss at all. The loss would be all the JD-S's.

But the narrative being built on social media is that Mr Modi knew about Prajwal Revanna's alleged sex tapes and still he asked people to support him and vote for him in his public rally...

Prajwal Revanna kaisa aadmi hai Modiji ko maloom nahi hai na. Tour programme toh state wala bana ke deta hai... kidhar jana, kidhar aana (Modiji didn't know about Prajwal Revanna's character. It is the state unit that chalks out his public rallies and decides where and for which seats he campaigns).

But had you brought Prajwal Revanna's alleged sex videos to Mr Modi's notice, then wouldn't he have been saved huge embarrassment which he is facing today? People are blaming him for what has happened...

I am a small fry (in the BJP). I don't have the power enough or the guts to sit in front of Modiji and talk to him about it. If I had that power, then I would have ensured that Prajwal Revanna did not get to contest.

But if you had brought it to Modiji's notice before the tapes got out you could have saved him huge embarrassment.

Abhi kharab ho raha hai. Mere haath se time nikal gaya na woh (He is facing embarrassment now. The time to sit and discuss this issue is over now. I had no control over the turn of events).

Who should shoulder the responsibility for such embarrassment for the BJP?

Responsibility? It is a bad time.

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PRASANNA D ZORE / Rediff.com