BENGALURU: In the end, it took Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, a JD(S) man, to smooth the ruffled feathers of the Jarkiholi brothers when none of the state Congress leaders could pacify them. The brothers have been on a warpath, keeping the JD(S)-Congress coalition government on its toes with their on-again-off-again rebellion. On Tuesday, Kumaraswamy met the brothers — Ramesh, Satish and Nagendra — at a time when rumours of moves being made to shift legislators, of both JD(S) and Congress, to a resort in Mumbai were doing the rounds.
The CM’s intervention seems to have worked for now, with Satish Jarkiholi telling the media that all is well. “We discussed issues of Belagavi. The Chief Minister has given us assurances that our requests for works in our constituencies will be expedited. He has also said we can go to him anytime we want. We have placed a request that Ballari should get representation in the cabinet and that the minister has to be from our community (ST),” Satish said after meeting Kumaraswamy.
The three brothers met the Chief Minister after holding talks with Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President Dinesh Gundu Rao and Congress Legislative Party chief Siddaramaiah. Despite speculations of the brothers shifting MLAs, Satish denied all reports and said they had no plans of leaving the party. His disappointment with the state Congress leaders is far from over. Satish, however, is slated to meet the central leadership of the Congress, including AICC Chief Rahul Gandhi.
A senior Congress MLA, who had resigned from AICC office bearer’s post miffed over not being included in the cabinet, said he will leave for New Delhi on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Congress MLA from Hosakote M T B Nagaraj threatened to “go his own way” if not accommodated in the cabinet.
“Those who have been MLAs just twice have been made ministers twice. Those who have joined the Congress just months ago have been made ministers. I have won three times but I haven’t been accommodated. Even Siddaramaiah is mum. If my demands are not met, I will either quit the party and join another party, whatever suits my way,” Nagaraj threatened. Given the open rebellion as well as threatening undercurrents, the Congress has decided to postpone plans of cabinet expansion. The coordination committee had decided to expand the cabinet in the last week of September.