BELAGAVI: The surprise induction of Athani MLA Laxman Savadi in the state cabinet has not merely put the BJP top leadership in a dilemma, but also jolted many disqualified MLAs waiting to enter the cabinet, soon after the clean chit which they expect to get shortly. While objecting to the inclusion of Laxman Savadi into the cabinet, leader of the group of disqualified MLAs Ramesh Jarkiholi calls it a “betrayal of trust’’ by the BJP high command.
“The BJP leadership has done injustice to Mahesh Kumathalli, disqualified MLA from Athani, by inducting Savadi as the latter’s presence in the cabinet could complicate the inclusion of Kumathalli,” sources quoted Ramesh Jarkiholi as saying.Sources close to Jarkiholi said the BJP high command had assured him that Kumathalli would be given the ticket to contest the by-election from Athani and would also be inducted into the cabinet. However, with the inclusion of Savadi, who is also from Athani, it will now be difficult to field Kumathalli from Athani. This could also be a hurdle for Kumathalli’s inclusion into the cabinet.
Jarkiholi and Savadi have been arch rivals in Belagavi district, fighting elections to several local bodies and cooperative institutions for the past three decades. Jarkiholi camped in Athani for more than two months, ahead of the last assembly elections, with the sole aim of defeating Savadi to ensure Kumathalli’s victory. Subsequently, Jarkiholi joined hands with Savadi to carry out Operation Lotus-II to topple the coalition government.
Before they resigned their seats, the disqualified MLAs had entered into a pact with the BJP high command, with the assurance that the party would field all the MLAs from their respective constituencies, and that all of them would be inducted into the cabinet once they got the clean chit from the apex court. However, Jarkiholi has questioned the BJP’s decision to include Savadi, who had lost against Kumathalli, and sought to know from the BJP whether such a move would deny Kumathalli a cabinet berth.
Unconcerned about brother
Ramesh Jarkiholi is unperturbed by the denial of cabinet berths to his brother Balachandra and Umesh Katti. While asserting that he was not bothered that his family member had not made it to the cabinet, he said he was content that he had been able to fulfil his only intention to bringing the coalition government down. Sources said Jarkiholi is worried only about the future of the disqualified MLAs who have been promised the moon by the BJP. He insisted that the BJP leadership fulfil every promise it had made to his group.