Caught in ‘sex for favours’ scandal, Karnataka Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi resigns

Updated - March 03, 2021 10:56 pm IST

Published - March 03, 2021 02:08 pm IST - Bengaluru

Ramesh Jarkiholi

Ramesh Jarkiholi

Minister for Major and Medium Irrigation Ramesh Jarkiholi submitted his resignation from Karnataka Cabinet on Wednesday, a day after allegations of him seeking sexual favours from a woman in return for a government job emerged.

His resignation came after protests and criticism by opposition parties and several sections of society, causing a huge embarrassment to the government and the ruling BJP.

Social activist Dinesh Kallahalli had on Tuesday lodged a police complaint against Mr. Jarkiholi alleging he had sexually harassed a ‘job aspirant’ and threatened the woman and her family with dire consequences.

Dubbing it a ‘sex for job’ scandal, purported video clips showing Mr. Jarkiholi getting intimate with an unidentified woman was widely aired by Kannada news channels.

 

The resignation letter written by Ramesh Jarkiholi

The resignation letter written by Ramesh Jarkiholi

 

Mr Jarkiholi has sent his resignation letter to the Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and stated that he was resigning from the post to save the party from embarrassment and that he should be reinstated once proven innocent. He has described the allegations as far from true.

According to sources, Mr. Jarkiholi tendered his resignation on the directions from the party high command.

BJP national general secretary in-charge of Karnataka Arun Singh and party national general secretary (organisation) B.L. Santosh reportedly held discussions on the charges and CD and communicated the party’s decision to the State leadership, keeping in mind the Assembly polls in five States and also bypolls and panchayat elections in Karnataka.

Earlier in the day his brother and BJP leader Bakakrishna Jarkiholi met the Chief Minister and sought a CBI inquiry into the incident.

Terming it an attempt to defame the family as they had made it big in politics, Mr. Balachandra Jarkiholi also threatened to file a ₹100 crore defamation suit against those who released the “fake CD”.

According to sources, Mr. Yediyurappa reportedly assured Mr. Jarkiholi that he would be inducted into the Cabinet again if he was cleared of the charges levelled against him. There were also reports that he was promised that Mr. Balachandra Jarkiholi would be inducted in his place.

However, clarifying that there were no conditions put before the resignation was tendered, Mr. Balachandra Jarkiholi said the Chief Minister sent the resignation to the Governor, a probe would take place and Ramesh would come out innocent.

Mr. Jarkiholi led the team of 17 MLAs from the Opposition parties who switched to the BJP from the Congress, which eventually led to the fall of the Congress–JD(S) coalition government and formation of the BJP government.

Besides the party he quit, a large number of BJP old timers too were not comfortable with Mr. Jarkiholi’s instant political growth.

Meanwhile, Mr. Jarkiholi’s supporters organized a protest in Gokak in support of him on Wednesday.  They sat at the Basaveshwara circle, and shouted slogans in favour of their leader and urged the government not to accept his resignation.

- With PTI inputs

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