Jarkiholis and the political storm in Karnataka

Satish Jarkiholi and Laxmi Hebbalkar. DH file photo.

On September 2, 2018, the Jarkiholi brothers warned the Congress of resorting to “harsh decisions” if Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar did not stop “interfering in Belagavi district politics in support of KPCC Women's Wing president and MLA Lakshmi Hebbalkar.
 
MLA Satish Jarkiholi had earlier abstained from a meeting convened by AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal in Bengaluru.
 
On September 7, KPCC working president Ishwar Khandre said that differences in opinion between Jarkiholi brothers and Hebbalkar were amicably resolved. 

However, the next day, Ramesh Jarkiholi said his younger brother Satish had the ambition to become the chief minister and he would ensure that Satish would achieve it.
 
The Congress leadership was forced to intervene in the Belagavi feud which has set off alarm bells in the coalition government with the JD(S). 
 
The powerful Jarkiholi brothers, who recently faced a setback in a local cooperative bank election in Belagavi, are learnt to have threatened to quit the Congress if their demands are not fulfilled.  

On September 11, Satish said anything can happen in state politics in the next fortnight.
 
The next day, Ramesh claimed that “everything had been sorted out” and asked reporters to "leave him alone". 
 
State Congress leaders made a beeline to meet their party's "crisis manager" Siddaramaiah, who returned to Bengaluru from a 12-day tour of Europe.
 
Shivakumar described his Cabinet colleague and Municipalities Minister Ramesh as his “best friend”, even as the Jarkiholi brothers continued to mount pressure on the party to rein in the Vokkaliga strongman.
 
Meanwhile, Cabinet expansion has been deferred by a few more months with dissident activities in the Congress threatening to escalate. 
 
The BJP central leadership is learned to have instructed its Karnataka unit not to make any efforts to destabilise the coalition government, but the state unit is hopeful that the present "trouble" will soon turn to its advantage. 
 
The Congress high command summoned Satish to New Delhi to discuss the political crisis. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao has also been summoned to the national capital.
 
Amid the rumblings in the coalition government, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Tuesday met the disgruntled Jarkiholi brothers and asked them not to take any hasty decision. 
 
Satish said on Sunday that the Jarkiholis should not be held responsible if the government in the state collapsed. The brothers have remained firm on having their demands fulfilled, even as Siddaramaiah tried to defuse the political crisis on Monday. 

On Tuesday, Satish said the political turmoil in the state was a closed chapter but Ramesh is firm on his decision to quit the party if his demands are not fulfilled. Satish is against dragging the issue too much, lest it turns advantageous for the BJP.

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Jarkiholis and the political storm in Karnataka

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