BELAGAVI: The worsening rivalry between former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi and KPCC president D K Shivakumar over the raging CD-gate has compelled the Jarkiholi brothers to band together to defeat the Congress in the forthcoming Belagavi Lok Sabha bypoll even as the most popular among the siblings -- KPCC working president Satish Jarkiholi -- is contesting as the Congress candidate.
Ever since the woman in the purported CD alleged Shivakumar’s hand in the controversy, the Jarkiholi brothers seem to have made up their mind to take on the KPCC chief head-on. In a surprising development that may put Shivakumar in a spot, many top BJP leaders, including Jagadish Shettar, Byrati Basavaraj, Umesh Katti, Annasaheb Jolle and BJP candidate Mangala Angadi, visited the Gokak residence of Lakhan Jarkiholi, a Congress leader and right-hand man of Satish, on Monday.
Lakhan, during the meeting with BJP leaders, announced that he will join his brothers, MLAs Balachandra and Ramesh, to support saffron party candidate Mangala Angadi, wife of late Suresh Angadi -- Union Minister of State for Railways. Several Congress leaders fear that the teaming up of three Jarkiholis will be a massive setback for the party and Shivakumar in particular. This will also swing a large chunk
of votes in Arabhavi and Gokak Assembly segments in favour of BJP, they said.
Winds of change were apparent when Lakhan recently demanded the resignation of Shivakumar on moral grounds over the CD row. Lakhan said, “Congress is dependent only on one leader (D K Shivakumar) and is involved in groupism with all its leaders indulging in clashes. They will never be able to respond to people’s problems.’’
With all his brothers in the rival camp, the way ahead for Satish looks difficult. Congress sources said Satish was not interested in contesting the bypoll, but entered the fray under pressure from Shivakumar and AICC leadership. The Congress trudges on despite seeming odds. But will it breast the tape will be known on May 2.