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BJP MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi says ₹6,000 per voter statement was twisted

Former Minister and BJP MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi says, “I did not mean bribe, I meant development”

January 25, 2023 03:58 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:24 am IST - belagavi

 A file photo of former Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi and K.S. Eshwarappa in the Assembly session at Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi.

A file photo of former Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi and K.S. Eshwarappa in the Assembly session at Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi. | Photo Credit: P K Badiger

A few hours after Congress leaders filed a complaint with the Bengaluru police against BJP MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi for his alleged statements about planning to bribe voters at the rate of ₹6,000 per vote, the former Minister denied making such statements.

“It is true that I said that we will give ₹6,000 per head. But that was not meant to be a bribe for voting. It was my measure of per capita funds that I would release for the constituency for its development. My statements were twisted by the media,” he said.

He told journalists that he never meant to bribe voters. “I am a six-time MLA. I have never stooped to such levels to influence voters. I have only exposed Congress leaders like Lakshmi Hebbalkar who were openly bribing voters. Why did the Congress leaders, who complained against me, not mention that I had spoken about Ms Hebbalkar’s bribing the voters with gift boxes?”

He alleged that KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar was involved in the sleaze CD too. “He was feeling vengeful about D.K. Shivakumar as he had destroyed his family life. I will not keep quite. I will teach him a lesson. I know that he is involved. I have audio clips to prove that,” he claimed.

“I have asked the Karnataka government to transfer the sleaze CD case against him. I have asked Union Home Minister Amit Shah to hand over the case to CBI. Only a CBI probe can expose the real offenders in that case,” he said.

“When the local police raided the house of one of the accused in Devanahalli village, they found 90-110 such CDs featuring VIPs, politicians and officers. The police hushed it up as they found one CD pertaining to the investigation and raids. All this will come out in a CBI probe,” he said.

He wants the probe into the alleged involvement of former Minister K.S. Eshwarappa in the death of Santosh Patil, a contractor from Hindalga, to be transferred to CBI. “I suspect that D.K. Shivakumar is involved in this case too. He and his supporters had forced the young contractor to end his life, only to bring a bad name to the BJP. We are keeping quiet as it would be an embarrassment to the party. But I insist that the Hindalga case should be transferred to the CBI,” he said.

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