Bengaluru: Gokak Congress MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi has been a hard nut to crack for the Karnataka Congress-JD(S) coalition government, quite literally.

Of late, he has openly expressed his dissent in the coalition and there were reports that he would bid goodbye to the Congress and join the BJP. Of course, Ramesh has not joined the BJP yet.

Now, in what comes as a sustained headache for the coalition in general and chief minister HD Kumaraswamy in general, Ramesh is refusing to communicate with the JD(S) leader.

Sources say, “When Kumaraswamy met Siddaramaiah on Saturday (June 1), he poured his woes to him. Kumaraswamy is ready to offer ministry to  Ramesh Jarkiholi anytime, but he is not willing to speak to the chief minister. He (Kumaraswamy) doesn’t know what to do. In his reply, Siddaramaiah said it is imperative he placate disgruntled elements in the coalition, adding Cabinet expansion is the only panacea.”

Kumaraswamy spoke to Siddaramaiah in this regard for almost two hours.

It might be recalled that Kumaraswamy met Mahesh Kumathalli, Congress MLA from Athani on the premises of Vidhana Soudha and tried to hobnob with him and pacify him.

Sources say that he broached the topic of disgruntlement with him and sent feelers to Ramesh. But nothing has fructified.

The BJP lampooned the crisis prevailing in the coalition ranks.

“The coalition government is a sinking ship. Who will be happy to become the captain of a sinking ship? Is there a reason he should become the captain? None would be thrilled with the offer of ministries and such. So is Ramesh Jarkiholi, says Shreenath Sheshadri, a BJP spokesperson.

Ever since its inception, the coalition government has been riding on a high wave of infighting and hostility. Though the high-ranked seniors of both the parties are trying their best to soothe fraying tempers, nothing has fructified.