BELAGAVI: Ever since they entered the political big league two decades ago, the Jarkiholi brothers never tasted electoral defeat because of their strong links with leaders and organisations at the grassroots in Belagavi region.
The brothers revolted, switched parties and took on political heavyweights to hold sway over Belagavi politics. However, the way they surrendered to the Congress to make way for the group headed by Belagavi Rural MLA Laxmi Hebbalkar in the PLD Bank and conceded defeat has raised eyebrows.
According to sources close to the Jarkiholis, the brothers are extremely upset over the latest political development and Ramesh is keen to quit the party along with several other legislators. If the sources are to be believed, Ramesh is working out strategies to take 10 to 12 MLAs of the Congress along with him. He has already held a meeting with them a few days ago when he came to know of the imminent defeat of his group against the Hebbalkar camp.
Upset over the state party leaders’ unconditional support to Hebbalkar at the behest of Minister D K Shivakumar in the PLD Bank row, Ramesh is said to have prepared a firm ground to quit the party and ensure that his family continues to dominate Belagavi politics. Besides holding talks with all 12 MLAs, whose names are not known as yet, Ramesh has also been in touch with several state BJP leaders, including B S Yeddyurappa and B Sriramulu, on a regular basis for the past few weeks, sources said.
To capitalise on the infighting in the Congress, the BJP is ready to roll the red carpet to the Ramesh Jarkiholi-led MLAs. However, no BJP sources confirmed whether the Jarkiholis are in touch with party leaders. Already, Arabhavi MLA Balachandra Jarkiholi is in the BJP and had played a key role in “Operation Lotus” through which the BJP leaders resorted to form the government in the past. After the defeat of their group, all three Jarkiholi brothers have joined hands and are expected to take a serious political decision in the next few weeks, according to sources. So far, Balachandra has not intervened in Belagavi politics ever since the Congress government and later the coalition government took over in the state.
The brothers are unable to understand what interest Shivakumar has in Belagavi politics that made him intervene and support Hebbalkar.No one from the Jarkiholi family confirmed about the brothers’ next political move. But one thing is for sure: The brothers will certainly not take the insult lying down.