BENGALURU/BELAGAVI: A day before the cabinet meeting and two days before the start of the budget session, a CD gate has come to haunt the State Government. On Monday, a compact disc containing sleazy content allegedly involving Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi and a young woman, who was seeking a government job, came out in the open.
In a remarkable similarity to former Congress minister HY Meti is case, who too was caught with a woman and had to resign in 2016, this CD too has explicit material and is said to have been clandestinely shot inside a hotel room in Cubbon Park police limits. Ramesh Jarkiholi is allegedly seen with a woman in a compromising position in multiple audio and video clips.
An RTI activist, Dinesh Kallahalli, on Tuesday came to Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant’s office seeking protection for the woman, who is yet to be identified. Asking the police to conduct an inquiry, he told Pant that the minister took undue advantage of the woman, who had gone seeking a government job. She had been exploited by Jarkiholi a number of times, he claimed.
The video has been recorded by the victim. Dinesh Kallahalli said that she approached him for help as she faced a life threat, considering that Jarkiholi is an influential and powerful person. She handed over the CD to Kallahalli and told him that she and her family cannot come out in the open because of the explicit content in the CD.
It’s a honey-trap, attempt to unseat Jarkiholi, say friends
The videos sent shockwaves in Jarkiholi’s Gokak constituency, from where he has won six elections in a row. Terming it a honey-trap, his friends said that it is an attempt to unseat him from the minister’s post.
KPCC president Satish Jarkiholi, who is Ramesh’s brother, was not available for comment on the CD row. Present DyCM Laxman Savadi, C C Patil and Krishna Palemar, who were ministers in the BJP government then, had to resign for viewing pornographic content inside the Assembly in 2012. Another BJP minister Hartal Halappa resigned after a CD surfaced in 2010.
Soon after the video clips went viral, the power supply was cut in Gokak taluk for some time, allegedly to prevent people from watching them on TV channels. Ramesh Jarkiholi’s phone was switched off and state BJP president Nalinkumar Kateel did not respond to repeated phone calls from TNIE to seek his reaction.