BELAGAVI: The fast-approaching Belagavi District Central Cooperative Bank (BDCCB) elections could cause another political storm in the state if not handled properly as three top BJP leaders from the district are vying for the control of this bank. Why this assumes significance is because in 2018, it was a bank election that caused fissures among the then Congress leaders which, many claim, led to the collapse of the coalition government last year.
Vying for the control of BDCC are traditional rivals Ramesh Katti, a brother of MLA Umesh Katti, and DCM Laxman Savadi. Added to this is Ramesh Jarkiholi, who too wants a fair share here. Curiously, all three are from the BJP. Former MP Ramesh Katti has been elected president of the prestigious bank for three terms. In 2015, he won a narrow victory against Laxman Savadi to become the president. Though both are from the BJP, Katti brothers had managed to get the votes of politically strong Jarkiholi brothers in their favour. This had disappointed and angered Savadi. The rivalry came out in the open when Umesh Katti, who is an eight-time MLA, threatened Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa of quitting the party as he was not given a ministerial berth, while Savadi was made the Deputy Chief Minister despite losing the assembly election.
Ramesh Katti is trying to retain the DCC bank president’s post again. Savadi too may contest the elections or field his candidate to avenge his loss in 2015. Adding another twist, Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi said in Belagavi on Saturday that his brother Balachandra Jarkiholi and Ramesh Katti will take a final decision on DCC bank elections. These developments could lead to another political storm in state politics. The previous JDS-Congress coalition fell apart as Jarkiholi brothers and Laxmi Hebbalkar, who all were in Congress, fought bitterly over a position in the PLD bank.