Karnataka Municipalities Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, whose disgruntlement has kept the Congress edgy, on Wednesday, claimed that “everything had been sorted out” and asked reporters to 'leave him alone'.
Ramesh and his MLA brother Satish Jarkiholi, who consider Belagavi their fiefdom, have been feuding with Water Resource Minister D K Shivakumar and accused him of interfering in Belagavi politics.
The rift in the Congress has led to speculation that the Jarkiholis may take a drastic decision that could threaten the very survival of the Congress-JD(S) coalition.
“Everything was sorted out yesterday (Tuesday). Now, please let me be. Don’t wait outside my house. Go do something else. Leave me alone,” Ramesh told reporters.
While he claimed differences were thrashed out, Ramesh went on to contradict himself. “I am repeating that I will not quit Congress. Yes, there are differences and our leaders will sort them out,” he added.
Ramesh said he was on his way to meet senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. “Kharge is a father-figure to us,” he said.
Asked what the meeting was about, Ramesh angrily responded: “It’s about Belagavi issues. How many times will you ask? You want to run news this again for the entire day?”
The Jarkiholis complained that Shivakumar was interfering with the affairs of Belagavi. Shivakumar has denied this.
Ramesh contradicted himself again when asked about his meeting with Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and state Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao.
“Yes, they met me and it’s true there are differences. They will be sorted out by party leaders. Reports that we will cause the downfall of the government are false.”
Ramesh said that he would get back to his department. “I haven’t worked for four days. I’ll get back to my department today,” he said.
It may be noted that Jarkiholis, who belong to the Nayaka/Valmiki community, claim support of at least a dozen MLAs. This was corroborated after the brothers found the support of some Ballari MLAs.
Ramesh, however, said this was not political. “Our community is spread across Ballari, Raichur and Chitradurga. If there is any hardship in our community, I will intervene. The party is a different matter altogether,” he stated.