Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said in Belagavi that BJP MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi’s open support for his brother and independent candidate Lakhan Jarkiholi in the legislative council polls is not a matter of concern.
“It is true that some BJP leaders are asking voters to defeat the Congress candidate in Belagavi. But, it is not a coded message to seek support for Lakhan Jarkiholi. It is our open stand, as we are fighting the Congress all over Karnataka. What else do you expect of me or my leaders?
“This is a triangular fight with three candidates for two seats. BJP has fielded only one candidate, and we are not worried about anyone else... This is not a legislative assembly poll, and we do not have a direct opponent. We just want our candidate to get the highest number of first preferential votes. We are not bothered about the choice of voters regarding their second preferential vote. We are confident that gram panchayat members who have won with our support will vote for BJP candidate Mahantesh Kavatagimath,” he said on December 7.
“There is no confusion among BJP leaders or workers in Belagavi district. All of us have taken one decision, and that is to support BJP candidate Mahantesh Kavatagimath. We are confident that he will win in the first round. The condition of the party in Belagavi is not just okay, it is very good. It is in the best possible condition,” he said.
About the demand for building a legislators’ home in Belagavi for the benefit of MLAs and MLCs attending the winter session of the legislature, the CM said a decision would be taken after discussions with the Speaker and Council Chairperson.
‘We respect JD(S) decision’
“If the JD(S) does not want to tie up with us in the legislative council polls, it is all right. It is an internal matter of that party, and we respect their decision,” Mr. Bommai said.
“It is not that the BJP had sought their support. Our senior leader B.S. Yediyurappa had requested JD(S) leaders to help our candidates since it is not fielding nominees in all seats. But then, Mr. Yediyurappa had clarified that it was for the JD(S) to decide on the issue. Now that H.D. Kumaraswamy has expressed his disinclination for an alliance with us, we will let that be,” he said.