BENGALURU: A day after he faxed his resignation to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Excise Minister Satish Jarkiholi rebuffed all efforts to convince him to reverse his decision.
“Once an arrow is shot, it cannot be taken back,” Jarkiholi, who is also minister in-charge of Belagavi district, told Express.
Kempaiah, Siddaramaiah’s emissary and Home Minister K J George’s adviser, travelled to Gokak on Wednesday to appease the minister, but returned empty-handed.
Sources close to the minister said Kempaiah was at the receiving end. “It is because of people like you that our chief minister is going off the track. Are you my party high command to solve the issue?” Jarkiholi is said to have demanded of Kempaiah. Jarkiholi also asked Kempaiah if he knew anything about the ‘sacrifices’ he had made for Siddaramaiah and the party.
A little later, Siddaramaiah called Jarkiholi and requested him to travel to Bengaluru on Wednesday. Jarkiholi agreed to make the trip on Thursday, but later changed his mind.
In Bengaluru, Siddaramaiah said the incident had been blown out of proportion. “Everything will be resolved,” he insisted. Energy Minister D K Shivakumar and PWD Minister H C Mahadevappa and Chikkodi MP Prakash Hukkeri also made efforts to placate Jarkiholi, but to no avail.
Asked if he was keen on a change in portfolio, as was reported, Jarkiholi said he had not made any such demand.
“When I am not interested in continuing as minister, why do I need a change of portfolio?” he said, adding that his resignation was not an effort to blackmail Siddaramaiah.
“I need more time to focus on social work and continue my fight against blind beliefs and superstitions,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Jarkiholi was scheduled to meet Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, at Ilkal. He cancelled his visits and was closeted with Belagavi district Congress MLAs at MLA Feroz Sait’s house. Sait told reporters no Congress legislator from Belagavi would accept Jarkiholi’s post.
Gokak MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi, the miffed leader’s older brother, said Satish was upset that Siddaramaiah was not treating him properly.
“We will convince him to withdraw his resignation,” Ramesh said.
Meanwhile, Revenue Minister V Srinivasa Prasad, KPCC president G Parameshwara, Law Minister T B Jayachandra and Home Minister George appealed to Jarkiholi to withdraw his resignation.
Parameshwara, while welcoming Jarkiholi’s decision to work for the party, urged him not to quit the Cabinet.
George claimed no minister was disgruntled. “All are happy. Jarkiholi’s problem will be sorted out by the party high command,” he said.
Won’t Accept Resignation, asserts siddaramaiah: