Analysis | Karnataka CD scandal pulls the rug from under the kingmaker’s feet

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa with Ramesh Jarkiholi during the swearing-in ceremony  

The episode of video clips containing intimate moments of Ramesh Jarkiholi with a woman and the police complaint that he abused her with the offer of a job in KPTCL have pulled the rug from under the feet of the Minister, who was emerging strong as a “kingmaker”.

Mr. Jarkiholi, who was known for his political and business network in Belagavi till a year ago, caught the attention of the State when he played a crucial role in bringing down the erstwhile JD(S)-Congress coalition government by engineering defections of 17 MLAs from the ruling parties.

The enigmatic politician-cum-business tycoon, turned a kingmaker when he switched to the BJP from the Congress. He not only became a Minister with a plum portfolio like Major and Medium irrigation, but also a rallying point for most of the defectors who became Ministers.

This had upset the party old-timers who had begun to feel that a new political order comprising defectors had started overtaking them. His recent remarks that he could get five senior MLAs from the Congress to quit and join the BJP was being seen in party circles as a clear indication that he wanted to expand his political support base. This had created unease among BJP leaders who felt that his political ambition may turn out to be a threat for their own political careers.

The BJP old guard, though concerned about the scandal denting the image of the party, appear to be heaving a sigh of relief with the exit of Mr. Jarkiholi from the ministry. They also feel his exit would make it easy for the new Ministers to gel well with the party organisation as so far most of them were under his control.

‘Relief for CM’

In fact, a leader close to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa felt that Mr. Jarkiholi’s exit may bring relief to the Chief Minister himself as the new Ministers will now have to come to him directly instead of the earlier practice of approaching Mr. Jarkiholi.

BJP insiders feel that Mr. Jarkiholi’s exit may give them freedom to strengthen the party organisation in Belagavi, which has second highest number of Assembly seats after Bengaluru.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 1:37:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/cd-scandal-pulls-the-rug-from-under-the-kingmakers-feet/article33983681.ece

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