BENGALURU:With the rivalry between the Jarkiholi brothers and Lakshmi Hebbalkar in the Belagavi district unit of Congress threatening to explode into a crisis, the party high command has tasked Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah with resolving the factional fight.
Siddaramaiah is seen as the right man for the task as the Jarkiholi brothers are his staunch loyalists.
When Ramesh Jarkiholi met him on Sunday morning, Siddaramaiah asked him to show restraint till his (Siddu) return from a tour of Europe on September 15 and not to escalate the infighting as it would deal a big blow for Congress’ prospects in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election.
The battle of one-upmanship between Municipal Administration Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, his brother Satish Jarkiholi on the one side and State Mahila Congress president Lakshmi Hebbalkar on the other to take control of the party in Belagavi district has taken a serious turn with the Jarkiholi brothers opposing the alleged interference of senior party leader D K Shivakumar in the Belagavi party affairs.
The trouble which erupted between the two sides during the Primary Land Develpoment (PLD)Bank Election has now escalated compelling the party high command to step in.
The issue came up for discussion at a meeting chaired by AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal here on Saturday. According to sources, the meeting witnessed a verbal duel between Jarkiholi brothers and Shivakumar when the latter reportedly tried to intervene.The Jarkiholi bothers strongly opposed any interference from outside leaders and Ramesh even threatened to quit if attempts were made to favour Hebbalkar.
‘No need for interference from outside’
A shocked Venugopal apprised Congress president Rahul Gandhi of the developments. Sensing the seriousness of the issue, the party high command asked Siddaramaiah to resolve the crisis.
The Jarkiholi brothers have buried their differences to counter Hebbalkar who is said to have complained to the high command accusing them of trying to marginalise her role in the taluk panchayat, zilla panchayat and PLD Bank elections. Satish Jarkiholi said, “I didn’t threaten to quit the party. We will resolve our differences within. There is no need for interference from outside.”