Bangalore: A day after his son was booked for rape and cheating following a complaint by Kannada film actor Maithreyi, Railway Minister DV Sadananda Gowda on Thursday accused his political opponents of attempting to malign him and tarnish his family's reputation.
Maithreyi has accused Karthik Gowda of sexually abusing and cheating her by getting engaged to another woman after marrying her "secretly" on June 5 in Mangalore, about 350 km from here.
She made the charge on Wednesday evening after learning about Karthik Gowda's engagement to the daughter of an industrialist at Kushalnagar in Kodagu district, about 230 km from here.
According to the complaint, Karthik married Maithreyi at his house in Mangalore and promised her to soon hold a public wedding after convincing his father and mother.
"I met Karthik in Bangalore early May through a common friend and we became close over the weeks and had an affair after he assured me he will marry me," Maithreyi said in the complaint.
Gowda, elected to the Lok Sabha from Bangalore North, said neither he nor his wife knew about their son's alleged secret wedding to Maithreyi.
"It is a gimmick indulged by my political opponents for cheap publicity. As a case has been registered against my son, let the law take its course and justice prevail," an upset Gowda told reporters in Mangalore.
"It is a personal matter. It is a falsely implicated complaint. As a minister I am here", Gowda told reporters.
Before the complaint was filed, Gowda had told reporters in Kushalnagar that he was "shocked" and "hurt" at the allegations levelled by her.
He had also suspected "a big conspiracy" adding, "I feel hurt. My life is an open book. I will not lie or cheat public...I am shocked...This kind of blackmail."
He said his family would also not give room "for any such things (cheating)".
"I will speak to my son...I have to think if a girl has to blackmail...If Sadananda Gowda becomes a scapegoat...", he said.
A case has been booked against Karthik under Sections 376 (punishment for rape) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code.
(With Agency inputs)