Renukacharya, Jarkiholi spar at Cabinet meeting

 A day after Housing Minister V Somanna and Cooperation Minister B J Puttaswamy locked horns at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, it was the turn of Excise Minister M P Renukacharya and Municipal Administration Minister Balachandra Jarkiholi to indulge in a verbal spat on Tuesday.

Renukacharya and Jarkiholi exchanged heated words in front of Shettar and colleagues during the Cabinet meeting, on the issue of calling tenders for works under the Chief Minister’s Nagarothana Yojane. The two ministers also traded charges against each other on the alleged irregularities in their respective departments.

Soon after Shettar arrived to hold the Cabinet meeting, Renukacharya said tenders under the project should be called at the taluk level as there could be irregularities, sources said.

To this, Jarkiholi replied that the processing of tenders would only be at the district level and that he was aware of irregularities in the Excise department.

The chief minister and Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa intervened and asked them to stop the argument. While Jarkiholi is known to oppose Yeddyurappa, Renukacharya is a staunch supporter.

Soon after the Cabinet meeting, Renukacharya again instigated a fight by claiming that Jarkiholi was blocking the release of scheme funds to some towns, including Honnali.

Jarkiholi hit back, asking him not to poke his nose in the functioning of other departments. Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai intervened and pacified them, sources said.

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