With a view to ending the long-drawn dissident activities, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is learnt to have offered rebel Congress leader Ramesh Jarkiholi to join the JD(S) if he’s not comfortable in the Congress.
Kumaraswamy, who held a closed-door meeting with the rebel leader late on Thursday evening, is understood to have promised him to make a Cabinet minister if he joins the JD(S), which is Congress’ coalition partner. Ramesh, however, has not assured anything to the chief minister in this regard.
In case Ramesh accepts the offer, it is expected to not only put a full stop to the threat of rebellion posed by the Belagavi leader but check the principal Opposition party BJP’s plan to destabilise the coalition government. Ramesh, who is a former minister and five-time MLA, had been the rallying point for the disgruntled MLAs in the Congress.
Ramesh, whose long-running feud with his bothers in Belagavi has turned ugly, is said to be in no mood to remain in the Congress. He is also upset with the party leaders for sidelining him. Though he has been planning to join the BJP, the rebel leader is in a dilemma of late as most of his MLA friends in the Congress have apparently deserted him.
Kumaraswamy along with senior Congress ministers, G Parameshwara and D K Shivakumar, have succeeded in pacifying disgruntled MLAs who were associated with Ramesh. Mahesh Kamathalli (Athani), Shrimanth Patil (Kagwad), Bheema Naik (Hagaribommanahalli) and B Nagendra (Ballari Rural), who had identified with Ramesh till recently, have declared that they have no intention to quit the party.
Efforts are also being made in the state Congress to convince the Gokak MLA to remain in the party.