Sibling battle: Ramesh accuses Lakhan of backstabbing

Supporters of Ramesh Jarkiholi, the BJP candidate for byelection to Gokak Assembly constituency, welcome their leader at Sambra airport in Belagavi on Friday. DH Photo

The battle of siblings in bypoll-bound Gokak is heating up. In a fresh round of verbal volleys, BJP candidate from Gokak Assembly constituency Ramesh Jarkiholi accused his brother and opponent in bypolls Lakhan (Congress) of backstabbing him while former minister and Congress leader Satish called Ramesh an opportunist.

Interestingly, both Ramesh and Satish arrived in Belagavi from Bengaluru in a same flight on Friday. Speaking to reporters at airport here, Ramesh Jarkiholi said, “I had asked Lakhan Jarkiholi not to contest this time. But he did not back out. He back-stabbed me. Lakhan is making a grave mistake knowing well what happened to Bheemshi (their sibling) in 2008 elections.

Ramesh added that Lakhan was his opponent, not brother, till Dec 5 and that he would retain the Gokak seat this time too.

Replying to a query, Ramesh said, “No, I didn’t speak to Satish during the flight. In fact, we haven’t spoken for the last 40 years.”

No BJP leader from the district or Gokak constituency was present to welcome Ramesh Jarkiholi, who joined the party in Bengaluru on Thursday, at Sambra airport here on Friday. He was received by a few supporters. As promised, Ramesh has been named as party candidate for Assembly bypolls from Gokak constituency

Ramesh Jarkiholi was instrumental in dislodging the Congress-JD (S) coalition government in the state.

Lakhan to file papers

Meanwhile, former minister and Congress MLA from Yamakanamaradi Satish Jarkiholi calling his brother Ramesh an opportunist, said the people of Gokak would teach him a lesson in the bypolls.

Speaking to reporters at the airport, Satish said, “Ramesh keeps changing his political gurus. In the past, he had called S M Krishna his guru. Now, he’s calling H Vishwanath his guru. The poll bugle has been sounded.  We have been campaigning for the past few months with the sole intention of defeating Ramesh.”

Lakhan will file his nomination as Congress candidate on Nov 18, he said.

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