Jarkiholi-Shivakumar tussle a headache for Cong

Jarkiholi-Shivakumar tussle a headache for Cong

The continued rift between Municipal Administration Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi and Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar, is causing immense embarrassment to the Congress in the run-up to the crucial November 3 byelections.

While taking part in the party’s campaign at Kudligi in Bellary parliamentary constituency on Sunday, Jarkiholi again openly hit out at his political bete-noire, asking him to stop showing off.

He also took exception to Shivakumar’s controversial remark on the demand for separate religion tag for Lingayats.

It is for the second time in the past one week that Jarkiholi has publicly spoken against against Shivakumar. Earlier, he had said that he will not campaign for the party in the Bellary bypoll with Shivakumar. The Congress has made Shivakumar incharge of the party’s campaign in Bellary. He is also the district incharge Minister.

Jarkiholi and Shivakumar had been at loggerheads over Belagavi politics. Ramesh and his brother Satish Jarkiholi had recently threatened to raise a banner of revolt, protesting Shivakumar’s interference in Belagavi politics.

Efforts by the party leaders to sort out differences between the two leaders have not yielded results.

Sources in the Congress said Ramesh Jarkiholi is
upset with the party for not
making him incharge of the party campaign in the Bellary

Besides, Ramesh has been trying to emerge as a leader of the ST community.

He had demanded the party ticket to Venkatesh Prasad, brother of Congress MLA from Ballari Rural constituency B Nagendra.

But Shivakumar, who was asked to shortlist probable candidates, did not recommend Prasad’s name to the party. The Congress high command finally picked V S Ugrappa, who is an ‘outsider,’ as its candidate.

This is not all. The local party workers continue to oppose the decision to support the JD(S) candidates in Mandya Lok Sabha and Ramanagar Assembly byelections.

The JD(S) has fielded L R Shivarame Gowda in Mandya and Anitha Kumarswamy in Ramanagar. Anitha is Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s wife.

Shivakumar and his brother D K Suresh, who
is MP from Bengaluru Rural constituency, held a meeting with Congress workers at a star hotel on Sunday
and tried to pacify them. Kumaraswamy and Anitha were also present in the meeting.

In Mandya, prominent Congress leaders such as former MLAs N Chaluvarayaswamy and Ramesh Babu Bandisiddegowda have refused to campaign for the JD(S) in the bypoll.

Both of them quit the JD(S) and joined the Congress only a few months ago.