BELAGAVI: Although all Jarkiholi brothers of Gokak are tacitly supporting their younger brother Lakhan Jarkiholi (Independent candidate) to win the December 10 MLC election from Belagavi, BJP MLA Balachandra Jarkiholi gave a call to the voters on Saturday to cast one of their preferential votes in the election to the BJP (Mahantesh Kavatgimath) and not to cast another preferential vote to the Congress party, which is represented by Channaraj Hattiholi, brother of Jarkiholi's arch political rival Laxmi Hebbalkar.
Without saying it openly, Balachandra made his stand clear that his brother should get one of the preferential votes and not Hattiholi.
Irrespective of their party affiliation, MLAs Ramesh Jarkiholi (BJP), Satish Jarkiholi (Congress) and Balachandra Jarkiholi (BJP) have together chalked out Lakhan's election strategy to help him emerge as the `first winner' in the dual-member Belagavi seat, sources said, adding that the brothers, however, continue to play a balancing act at the same time by actively holding election campaigns in favor of candidates from their respective parties.
Sources close to Jarkiholi brothers said efforts were being made by all of them to ensure that Lakhan wins as the first winner and Kavatgimath as the second winner in the dual-member Belagavi constituency.
"In the process, Jarkiholis are keen to see that Hattiholi of the Congress is defeated under any circumstances,'' sources added.
When asked what message he would give to the voters in the election, Balachandra Jarkiholi said, "We will request the voters to give their first preferential vote to BJP and not to give their second preferential vote to the Congress. Our message is clear.''
Jarkiholi did not directly say whether he would want his brother Lakhan (Independent) to win the election but said he would want the Congress candidate to lose the clash between Congress, BJP and Independent candidate.
On Friday, soon after Ramesh Jarkiholi addressed a BJP rally in Hirebagewadi, near Belagavi along with leaders of the party, and left the venue, Lakhan's group of leaders occupied the same stage and addressed the same crowd in the rally. A large number of Ramesh's supporters including his family members are in support of Lakhan even as Ramesh claimed today that he was campaigning only for the BJP candidate.
"For me, the party stood first and not my brothers. In the last Parliament election from Belagavi, I ensured that the BJP candidate won the election against my brother Satish Jarkiholi of the Congress,'' he added.