Gokak MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi, a prominent Congressman in Karnataka, is said to bid goodbye to the party and join the BJP. His brother Satish Jarkiholi is said to be of the opinion that the Congress will not try to counsel him to reverse his decision
Bengaluru: Ever since the Congress and JD(S) resolved to run a coalition government in Karnataka last year, they have run into a lot of trouble. Interestingly, the trouble seems to be coming more from within, courtesy several disgruntled elements from both the parties.
The latest to join the bandwagon of the Congress rebels, officially, is Gokak MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi. Sources say he held a meeting with his loyalists and took a unanimous decision not to campaign for the Congress in the Belagavi region for the Lok Sabha election.
However, his brother, Satish Jarkiholi, holding the forest ministry portfolio in the HD Kumaraswamy-led coalition government, is said to be of the opinion that the Congress will not try to counsel him to reverse his decision.
On the other hand, the BJP is watching the developments closely.
“This issue of Ramesh quitting the party has been going on for a long time. But the Congress has not been able to handle it efficiently. Even though Ramesh was made a Cabinet minister, he didn’t attend many meetings. The Congress is unable to convince him. The BJP has nothing to do with it. It is his decision,” said Shreenath Sheshadri, a BJP spokesperson.
But how will the BJP view his entry?
“If he is ready to join, it is the high command that will take a call,” he added.
If Ramesh does join the BJP, sources say that he will bring 10-15 MLAs along with him, thereby giving more jitters to the coalition as they fear a massive collapse.
“Things will take their own turn once the (Lok Sabha) results are out. Once that happens, it will be extremely fluid,” said Sheshadri.
While the news that Ramesh is joining the BJP is gaining traction, Satish has successfully managed to convince around 100 BJP supporters to shed their loyalty for the saffron party and join the Congress.
One has to wait to see if former Karnataka chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah approaches the Assembly Speaker, lodging a complaint against Ramesh.
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Last Updated Apr 22, 2019, 2:04 PM IST