Ramesh Jarkiholi skips campaign rally at Gokak

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa during a roadshow at Gokak for BJP candidate Mangala Angadi on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: P.K. BADIGER

Despite an open invitation by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, the BJP MLA for Gokak Ramesh Jarkiholi did not attend a campaign rally for Mangala Angadi, the party nominee for the Belagavi Lok Sabha byelection. The leader, who stepped down as Minister after facing sexual abuse allegations, is said to be recuperating from COVID-19.

He did not attend BJP rallies at Mudalagi and Gokak held on Wednesday, while his brother Balachandra Jarkiholi, MLA and KMF chairman, attended both. Mr. Yediyurappa had told journalists in Belagavi earlier in the day that he would talk to Mr. Ramesh Jarkiholi and ask him to attend the campaign rallies.

‘Not against candidate’

Addressed a gathering at Mudalagi, Mr. Balachandra Jarkiholi said that their fight was against the Congress and not its candidate. His elder brother Satish Jarkiholi is the Congress nominee, but Mr. Balachandra Jarkiholi did not name him.

Mr. Ramesh Jarkiholi had admitted himself to the Gokak taluk hospital last week after he reportedly tested positive once he came back from Kolhapur in Maharashtra. He was discharged on the third day and sent home to take rest.

On Monday, Mr. Balachandra Jarkiholi had said that Mr. Ramesh Jarkiholi would enter the campaign once his doctors declared him fit.

However, in circles close to the family it is said that Mr. Ramesh Jarkiholi would not venture to campaign for the BJP as he had no stakes in it. “Why would he campaign after suffering so much?” said a follower, insisting that he was the victim of a “conspiracy”. For the first time since the Jarkiholi brothers entered politics in the 1990s, none of the brothers is in power. For their followers, this is a very serious issue, said another BJP leader from Gokak.

For first time

“In his entire public life of over 30 years, this is the first time that Mr. Ramesh Jarkiholi has not attended a campaign rally of his own party’s candidate. That is because he has suffered pain and insults over the CD episode. It is question for the party leadership to ponder over,” said Bhimshi Bharamannavar, BJP leader from Gokak who is a close confidant of the Jarkiholi family.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 7:52:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/ramesh-jarkiholi-skips-campaign-rally-at-gokak/article34320658.ece

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