Lakhan Jarkiholi may weaken the chances of Cong. candidate

Candidates of both the BJP and the Congress are concerned with Lakhan Jarkiholi filing his nomination papers as an independent candidate in the Legislative Council polls from the double-member Belagavi- Chikkodi Rural Local Bodies Constituency.

The two-member constituency now has eight candidates, including Mahantesh Kavatagimath of the BJP, Channaraj Hattiholi of the Congress and Shankar Hegde of the AAP.

The others are independents, including Lakhan Jarkiholi.

It is widely believed that Lakhan Jarkiholi’s entry into the fray will weaken the chances of the Congress candidate, rather than the BJP. One of his followers pointed out that there are a few reasons behind this.

“Ramesh Jarkiholi and Balachandra Jarkiholi are in the BJP and will work for Mr. Kavatagimath. Ramesh Jarkiholi has also said that his priority will be to defeat the Congress. Satish Jarkiholi may openly say he will campaign for Mr. Hattiholi, but he is not too keen. That is because he thinks Mr. Hattiholi and his sister, Lakshmi Hebbalkar, did not campaign for him during the Lok Sabha bypolls,’’ he said.

There is a general impression in the district that when it comes to the family’s interest, the Jarkiholi Brothers set aside their political differences.

Rahul Nasipudi, a gram panchayat member from Gokak, said that he and his friends had decided to cast their votes for Lakhan Jarkiholi and Mahantesh Kavatagimath and not the Congress. “We have been told by the Jarkiholi Brothers to vote for the BJP as the second candidate,’’ he said.

Lakhan Jarkiholi held a big show of strength rally in Belagavi on Tuesday, the last day for filing nomination papers. He spoke briefly to his supporters who had gathered on the Sardar School Grounds. They later marched with him to the Deputy Commissioner’s office where he filed his nomination papers. He came out and said that his supporters had gathered voluntarily and not on his instructions. “I am happy they came. But this is no show of strength,’’ he said.

Balachandra Jarkiholi neither accompanied Lakhan Jarkiholi when he filed his nomination papers nor did he join the delegation of the BJP nominee Mr. Kavatagimath. Ramesh Jarkiholi was present when Mr. Kavatagimath submitted his nomination papers.

Satish Jarkiholi told journalists that Lakhan Jarkiholi could withdraw his nomination papers if he was promised an important post in the Congress. Satish Jarkiholi said that the Congress had dedicated voters in the district, that would ensure the victory of the party nominee Mr. Hattiholi. “They are not voters of Lakhan Jarkiholi or any particular leader. They are Congress voters and they will support us. Any leader leaving the Congress would lose those votes,’’ he said.

But Lakhan Jarkiholi responded to this saying nothing would make him withdraw. “I will not comment about Satish Jarkiholi’s statements. After all, he is my brother,’’ he said.

Lakshmi Hebbalkar expressed the confidence that her brother [Mr. Hattiholi] will easily win. She said that the Congress has around 4,000-5,000 out of the 8,800 voters in the district.

Meanwhile, in Bengaluru, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai dismissed reports that Lakhan Jarkiholi’s candidature could affect the chances of the BJP nominee.

“Lakhan Jarkiholi is contesting as an independent candidate. He is not in the BJP now anyway. His contest will not affect us. We will win the first round. I am sure Ramesh Jarkiholi and Balachandra Jarkiholi are with us and will support our candidate. They made it clear yesterday. Ramesh Jarkiholi even accompanied Mr. Kavatagimath when he filed his nomination papers. Anyway, I will speak to both of them to understand what happened,” he said.

To a query, the Chief Minister also said that the Lakhan Jarkiholi’s case was different from that of A. Manju’s son. “The two incidents are different. They cannot be compared. For a long time, the Jarkiholi Brothers have been in different parties,” Mr Bommai said.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 1:12:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/lakhan-jarkiholi-may-weaken-the-chances-of-cong-candidate/article37670227.ece

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