Jarkiholi brothers declare all-out war on MLA Laxmi Hebbalkar, warn of harsh decision

Announcing that his brother Satish will take a final call on Friday, Municipal Administration Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi said he will abide by whatever decision he takes.

Published: 07th September 2018 05:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th September 2018 11:25 AM   |  A+A-

Belagavi rural MLA Laxmi Hebbalkar

Express News Service

BELAGAVI: All eyes are on Belagavi. On the eve of the PLD Bank chief’s election here, the Jarkiholi brothers of Gokak have declared an all-out war against Belagavi Rural MLA Laxmi Hebbalkar, announcing here that they are being forced to take a ‘make-or-break’ political decision. Giving an ultimatum to the Congress high command to ensure that Hebbalkar exercises restraint, the brothers said they will have to take a  “harsh” political decision if Satish Jarkiholi suffers embarrassment (if his group loses the PLD Bank chief’s election) on Friday.

Announcing that his brother Satish will take a final call on Friday, Municipal Administration Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi said he will abide by whatever decision he takes. Despite repeated queries, he only said their harsh decision will have a huge impact on the state politics. “We (brothers) are tired of the ongoing tussle and keen to take a make-or-break call to end the rift once and for all now. Enough is enough. I cannot see Satish Jarkiholi getting insulted,’’ he said.

The stage is set for the election to PLD Bank’s chief as the process of filing nomination to the post of president and vice-president for PLD Bank begins at 10 am on Friday. Hebbalkar had claimed that a majority of 9 of the 15 members on PLD Bank’s board were in her group while six are in Satish Jarkiholi’s group. However, none of the 15 members (directors) of the bank were accessible to the media on Thursday even as the election has become a bone of contention for both the groups.

In order to ensure that none of the nine directors of the PLD Bank in her group switched sides on the eve of the election, Hebbalkar and her associates took them to a private resort in Goa on Wednesday night. According to sources, all directors will arrive with Hebbalkar at the PLD Bank in Belagavi directly to take part in the election process at 10 am.

Shifting of Laxmi Hebbalkar’s group to resort adds fuel to fire

According to sources, Satish Jarkiholi has been sulking as he feels insulted over being left out of the state cabinet despite being the `most popular leader’ of the Congress in North Karnataka.  “At least six to seven MLAs are with Jarkiholis in North Karnataka. It may not be difficult for them to come out of the Congress in case their group loses the PLD Bank chief election,’’ sources said.

The shifting of Hebbalkar’s group to the resort has further added fuel to the fire as Jarkiholis brought this development to the notice of the party high command, sources said adding that Hebbalkar’s hasty political decisions taken against the interests of Jarkiholis could land her in trouble. She did claim that Jarkiholis were her political mentors a few days ago but is unwilling to end her feud with them in the bank’s issue.

Ramesh Jarkiholi made a personal attack on Hebbalkar at a press conference in Belagavi on Thursday. Admitting that he would not wish to recall how Jarkiholis helped her grow politically over the last two decades, Ramesh said the prevailing situation forced him to do it. “Hebbalkar came into politics in 2004 but I did not know her antecedents prior to that. It was Satish Jarkiholi who helped her become president of Belagavi District Congress Cell,’’ he said.

“When Hebbalkar’s father was ill, I helped her financially. I also have helped her with regard to her son and brother when she desperately needed my help. But I never imagined she would stoop to such a low level to insult us. I do not wish to talk about her anymore. It’s merely media speculation that she lent me money,’’ added Ramesh Jarkiholi.

Commenting on minister D K Shivakumar who tried to intervene in the feud upsetting the Jarkiholis, Ramesh said that they were both good friends and that both of them helped each other become ministers in the past. “I can even swear in the name of Kolhapur Mahalaxmi temple that Shivakumar helped me become a minister,’’ he added.

Why drag my name: Kore

Speaking in Bengaluru on his arrival from a foreign tour on Thursday, Rajya Sabha MP (BJP)Prabhakar Kore said the dispute between Hebbalkar and Jarkiholi is a matter related to the Congress party and that he was not aware of it. “It is unfair to drag the issue out of context by saying that I and Hebbalkar are Lingayats,’’ Kore added.

“We know how to make Chief Ministers and also how to unseat them. It was Belagavi politics which took late Veerendra Patil to the post of CM. And what we should not forget is that the same Belagavi politics brought him down from the post. Unfortunately, none from Belagavi became CM till now,’’ he added. However, Kore said,  “We are waiting for an opportunity. We are waiting to see how we could gain from their (Hebbalkar-Jarkiholis) ongoing tussle.”

Yatnal invites M B Patil to join BJP

Amidst rumours that Municipal Administration Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi has been offered the plum DCM post by BJP in the wake of his feud with Congress leader Laxmi Hebbalkar, Vijayapura MLA Basangouda Patil Yatnal has invited MLA M B Patil to join BJP assuring the latter a cabinet berth. In Vijayapura, Yatnal said,  “If he wants, let M B Patil join BJP, then we will make B S Yeddyurappa Chief Minister and Patil will be in his cabinet.” Yatnal said the state politics would undergo major changes. Yatnal said Congress leader Siddaramaiah should clarify whether he is on a foreign tour in an attempt to topple the government.


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