Lok Sabha Election

Ramesh Jarkiholi to support BJP in Lok Sabha polls?

The former Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, who has been upset with some senior Congress leaders, reportedly told his supporters in Gokak on Saturday that he would support the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls, according to sources.

Mr. Ramesh Jarkiholi, however, refused to confirm this. He said he had decided to “stay neutral” and announce his political position after the polls. When contacted by The Hindu, he said: “I have already said that I am going to stay neutral.”

A gram panchayat member who attended a meeting at Mr. Ramesh Jarkiholi’s residence in Gokak said their leader talked about how he had been “cheated” by some Congress leaders. “He said he would not campaign for Congress candidates and would support the BJP in Belagavi and Chikkodi, said the GP member. “He told us to join him in supporting the BJP.”

The GP member claimed he also predicted the fall of the coalition government after the elections and that he would then join the BJP. “Mr. Ramesh Jarkiholi also said he would fight the next Assembly election on the BJP ticket,” the GP member said.

Mr. Ramesh Jarkiholi has been upset with Minister D.K. Shivakumar. He has alleged that the Minister was “interfering” in Belagavi district politics, through his supporter Laxmi Hebbalkar. Mr. Ramesh Jarkiholi withdrew from party activities a few months ago when Ms. Hebbalkar tried to get her supporters elected to a local cooperative bank. Mr. Ramesh Jarkiholi was also rumoured to be in touch with senior BJP leaders when attempts were reportedly on to bring down the coalition government. Mr. Ramesh Jarkiholi has denied this.

Absent at rally

Mr. Ramesh Jarkiholi did not attend a party campaign rally organised in Gokak on Friday night. His younger brothers Satish Jarkiholi (a Minister) and Lakhan Jarkiholi spoke at the rally. The former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah asked the voters to support the party nominees V.S. Sadhunavar in Belagavi and Prakash Hukkeri in Chikkodi. He did not stress on the differences among the Jarkiholi brothers.

Mr. Satish Jarkiholi later told his supporters in Gokak that Mr. Lakhan would be the Congress candidate in the next Assembly polls from Gokak. This confirmed the speculation that Mr. Ramesh Jarkiholi had distanced himself from the Congress.

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 5:52:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/ramesh-jarkiholi-to-support-bjp-in-lok-sabha-polls/article26900592.ece

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