Speaking to the media, a little after reports of him resigning as an MLA started doing the rounds, former minister Ramesh Jarikholi has asked for “some time to make plans”.
I don’t want to talk too much or create any controversy. I stand by what I said to TV channels earlier. I will decide what to do going forward. I am requesting for some time to make my plans. Give me 4 days time. After that, I will update the people of the state with what I have decided.Ramesh Jarikholi
A day after being dropped from the Karnataka Cabinet by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi reportedly said he has decided to resign as an MLA.
Jarkiholi, the Belagavi strongman, had gone into hibernation since, much to the discomfort of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government.
Referring to reports of his purported departure, Congress MLA from Belgaum, Laxmi Hebbalkar said:
I want to say something about Ramesh sir. On a personal level, I am feeling bad that he lost his place. I am happy that Satish Jarkiholi got a seat but I am feeling bad that Ramesh sir was replaced. It’s very saddening. These things happen.
An audio clip has surfaced, as per PTI, where the Gokak MLA purportedly said he and others would resign and people would get to see the changes within a week.
“I may quit in the next few days or it may take a week or two. But anyway, I have decided to quit,’’ he can be heard as saying in the clip.
His departure from Belagavi could spell trouble for the ruling combine, which is looking to put up a show of unity ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy has said that he will try to talk to everyone who is disillusioned, reported ANI.
Political developments, disillusionment & some expectations occur, I will try to talk to everyone. They’re all capable leaders, but they are disappointed with the expansion of cabinet yesterday, Congress party will correct it.
‘Nobody Will Resign’
Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah, who is a coordinator of the ruling coalition, ruled out the possibility of any MLAs resigning.
"There is no discontent in the party and nobody will resign. His (Jarkiholi) brother (Satish) has been made minister from his family," Siddaramaiah told reporters in Jamakhandi.
Satish Jarkiholi, on the other hand, said:
“Congress has replaced a lot of people in the last 70 years. It is the party’s decision, we have to go along with it. We had been waiting for the last two years, now suddenly they have given a birth.”
Ramesh Jarkiholi, who had been unhappy ever since the coalition government took over, is learnt to have conducted a meeting with his confidant MLAs to decide his future course of action.
Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, Parameshwara, has also said that reports of discontent among legislators are "false" and that the reality is very different.
“Naturally, when there is a cabinet expansion happening, there are bound to be some who feel unhappy. The party will do what needs to be done to pacify those people. Everyone is capable of becoming a minister, youngsters and experienced politicians all want greater responsibility. This is something that the party high command and leaders have to balance. This doesn’t mean there is trouble. I also looked into these rumours and contacted a few MLAs myself but they told me there is no such sentiment. I would like to tell the media to support us and only report the truth.”Parameshwara
He was not available for comments despite several calls and messages to him.
Karnataka Minister DK Shivakunar requested his “friends not to worry.”
“I don't say it is wrong to make demands. Even I wanted to be a part of CM Dharam Singh's Cabinet but I was quiet as I understood situation. Even during Siddaramaiah's term I became minister later, I request my friends to not worry,” said Shivakumar.
‘Denied Post for Being Senior’
More vocal with the denial of ministerial berth was Congress MLA R Ramalinga Reddy, who alleged that injustice was meted out to him.
"I have been denied a post for being senior. If that was the parameter for not making me minister, then why that is not applicable to Parameshwara (deputy chief minister), DK Shivakumar (water resource minister), Krishna Byregowda (law and panchayat minister) and a few others?" an upset Reddy told PTI.
Reddy even claimed that there were four people who took the decision of dropping him. Siddaramaiah trashed the charge, saying the decision was solely taken by the Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
‘Vokkaligas Have Not Got Their Due’
Another disgruntled voice came from Chikkaballapur MLA Dr K Sudhakar. "I feel that few districts are over-represented, while few have been unrepresented. Especially on the part of the Congress, Vokkaligas (a dominant community) have been left out. The Vokkaliga community has not got its due share, what it has supposed to get in the ministry."
While clarifying that he was a Congress loyalist, Sudhakar was of the opinion that the party cannot afford to have a disgruntled Ramesh Jarkiholi and felt that its fallout would be serious.
To cash in on the rumblings in the Congress, the BJP said its doors were open to receive anybody willing to embrace its party and ideology.
"We have no connection with the developments happening in the Congress. It's up to them to keep their flocks together. We will not contact anybody so long as they (MLAs) are in the Congress, but everybody is welcome whoever wishes to join us accepting out party and ideology," BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje told reporters.
(With inputs from PTI)