Ramesh Jarkiholi threatens to resign with supporters

Congress rebel Ramesh Jarkiholi, who left Belagavi in a huff after a spat with his minister brother Satish, arrived in Bengaluru on Wednesday and threatened the party with not only his resignation, but also of other "disgruntled" legislators.

Ramesh, however, did not specify names of other MLAs who would resign along with him. He, instead, said that he will hold talks with his supporters and take at a decision in a day or two. "I cannot take the decision alone. And there is no point in resigning alone...Wait for a week’s time. I will give you a good news,” he told reporters.

He, at the same time, hinted that he was still open for negotiations with the Congress leaders. "Injustice has been done to me. But none of the senior leaders approached me,” he stated. Asked whether he is ready for talks if state leaders such as D K Shivakumar approach him, he said: "Shivakumar is not a leader. For me Rahul Gandhi (Congress president) is the leader. I will talk to him."

Ramesh, who is a Congress MLA from Gokak Assembly constituency, has raised the banner of revolt against the party for sidelining him. He had been threatening the party to destabilise the JD(S)-Congress coalition government by resigning as MLA along with his supporters. But two of the MLAs, who had identified with Ramesh (Mahesh Kamtahalli and B Nagendra), have of late distanced themselves from him.

Sources close to Ramesh said he has been trying to get in touch with all the disgruntled Congress MLAs in order to muster support. Many of the legislators are upset in the party for denying them ministerial berths. Ramesh is said to have the backing of principal Opposition party BJP.

The Congress sources said Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara were making efforts to pacify the Belagavi leader. "We will talk to Ramesh and sort out all issues. The government is safe," Parameshwara said.

Meanwhile, the BJP chose to distance itself from the development. "I am not aware of Ramesh’s decision to resign. It is the internal issue of the Congress and we have nothing to do with it," state BJP president B S Yeddyurappa said in Shivamogga.

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