When Renukacharya started having second thoughts on voting against Yeddyurappa Government, the rebels camping in a resort in the neighbouring Goa, on Saturday, dumped him and Jarkiholi immediately assumed the leadership.
An isolated Renukacharya had no option but to return to Bangalore. He accused the JD(S) of indulging in goondaism and forcefully taking away all MLAs.
Jarkiholi is close to Kumaraswamy. He had won 2008 assembly elections on the JD(S) ticket, but later crossed over to the BJP as part of operation lotus.
JD(S) State President H D Kumaraswamy, who held talks with the rebels in Goa for two days, also ensured that none of the rebel MLAs, except Renukacharya, changed their stand. Zameer Ahmed Khan, a close-aide of of Kumaraswamy, was vested with the responsibility for the logistics and their safety, while Jarkiholi kept them together. Sources said Kumaraswamy would not trust Renukacharya who began vacillating after some powerful Lingayat pontiffs spoke to him warning him against destabilising the government.
Sources said rebel MLAs had a row with the Excise Minister with when he unilaterally announced the end of the dissidence to a TV channel on Thursday.
The rebels argued that he (Renukacharya) alone benefited from the rebel activities (he had become the minister after revolting against the Chief Minister) and that he has done nothing for them. Even Renukacharya’s close associate Belur Gopalakrishna left him.
Along with Shankarlingegowda of Mysore joining the rebels and S K Bellubbi doing a U-turn to return to the rebel camp, the JD(S) has managed to woo one more BJP MLA, Manappa Vajjal to the rebel camp, it is said.
Three JD(S) MLAs, Dinakar Shetty of Kumta, K Raju of Ramanagara and Sunil Hegde of Haliyal alleged that BJP leaders tried to poach them, offering a huge sum of money.
Raju said BJP leaders offered him Rs 25 crore to Rs 30 crore to support the BJP in the trust vote. Similar were the allegations of Dinakar Shetty and Sunil Hegde.
Asked who contacted him, Hegde said: “They are all my friends in the BJP. I don’t want to name them, because they contacted me at the behest of Chief Minister Yeddyurappa.”
Reacting to JD(S) MLAs’ statements, BJP spokesperson C T Ravi said there was no truth in their statements.
“It seems the MLAs made such statements only to send a message to their party heads that they would remain in the party only if they were offered so much money”, he said.