CM's son-rise irked Jarkiholi

Rakesh's interference in Excise dept, cops' postings angers minister

CM's son-rise irked Jarkiholi

Reported interference by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s son Rakesh in the affairs of Excise Department and police postings in Belagavi, and the chief minister’s failure to rein in his son are blamed for Excise minister Satish Jarkiholi quitting the Cabinet.

It is said that kin-love had distanced the chief minister  from his trusted supporters. Rakesh had been calling the shots in the Excise Department, especially in getting officials transferred, and Jarkiholi had virtually no say in the department. The chief minister had not taken any action despite being told, it is learnt.

It is said that Jarkiholi is also upset with the transfers and postings of police officials in Belagavi. Kempaiah, advisor to Home Minister K J George, used to finalise police transfers. Postings of  the IGP, Northern Range, Superintendent of Police, Belagavi district, and Police Commissioner of Belagavi city were done by Kempaiah, sources said.

This and other ommissions upset Jarkiholi and prompted him to sever his long association with Siddaramaiah. Despite being in Gokak, he skipped the state cabinet meeting. He is learnt to have told one of his close confidants that there was no scope for rapprochement now. Even if he withdraws his resignation, it would just be a token, sources said.

Fearing that the issue may damage the party, leaders from Belagavi led by district Congress president Lakshmi Hebbalkar rushed to Bengaluru on Thursday to consult the chief minister . They again met the chief minister  late in the evening. Jarkiholi, the district in-charge minister of Belagavi, is the lone ST member of the Cabinet.

“We have come to Bengaluru to urge the leaders not to accept Jarkiholi’s resignation and find a solution to the problem. He (Jarkiholi) is not particular about any portfolio. He actually wants a less important portfolio so that he can dedicate some time for the development of Belagavi district and party activities,” Hebbalkar told reporters. 

Jarkiholi’s unwillingness to meet the chief minister  on Thursday is seen as pressure tactics ahead of AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka Digvijay Singh’s three-day visit to Bengaluru from Friday. The minister is expected to meet Singh. 

The chief minister  is understood to have informed the Cabinet about Jarkiholi’s resignation. Majority of the ministers are learnt to have urged the chief minister  not to accept the resignation. 

Meanwhile, KPCC president G Parameshwara has convened a meeting of all ministers in Bengaluru on Friday to elicit their opinion on strengthening the party. Singh and Siddaramaiah will attend the meeting.

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