History repeated itself last week when the Congress-JD(S) coalition collapsed in Karnataka and Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy stepped down from his post before completing his term for the second time on Tuesday. As the waves of political drama simmered down, party insiders and the media pointed fingers at one common culprit for the government’s collapse – the Jarkiholi family.
Congress insiders claimed that the bickering among Jarkiholi siblings, their thirst for power and big egos had led to the fall of the coalition. Going into damage control mode, Congress MLA from Yemkanmardi, Satish Jarkiholi, refuted the claims and said that “personal issues” of leaders and “a specific thing” was responsible for the downfall of the government.
“It was due to personal issues and a certain thing that led to the downfall of the coalition. It is not the Jarkholi family. I know my brother Ramesh went with the BJP and I urged the seniors in the party to disqualify him sooner. If they had listened to me, this would not have happened,” Satish Jarkiholi said.
The former Karnataka Minister of Environment and Forests also blamed his brother, the Arabhavi legislator – Balachandra Jarkiholi for negatively influencing Ramesh. “Ramesh was influenced by Balachandra and that should not have happened. For whatever reasons, he went with Balachandra. I don’t want my family to take the blame for something they did,” Satish Jarkiholi added.
However, the legislator refused to divulge details on the elusive “thing” that brought down the government, while stating that he would be “honour-bound” to reveal all information in the future.
“I cannot reveal that information now. When the time comes, I will be honour bound to give you (press) all the information. Yediyurappa has no right to form a government when the issue of disqualification of 14 MLAs is still pending. These are blackmailing tactics by BJP and we know how they got our MLAs to go to Mumbai,” Satish Jarkiholi added.
The rebellion in the Congress began after Ramesh Jarkiholi was dropped from his cabinet rank as the Minister for Municipalities in October 2018 and his brother Satish was given a ministerial portfolio instead. Ramesh Jarkiholi had openly said he would join the BJP after his rival Lakshmi Hebbalkar was appointed the President of the PLD Bank in Belagavi. Ramesh, who was the former President of the bank was visibly miffed at losing two posts in a row.
The rivalry between Satish and Ramesh Jarkiholi was now out in the open as the siblings blamed each other for the instability. With the government collapsing, the Jarkiholi family came under fire for fanning the flames of the rebellion and Satish’s defence comes in the wake of the bad press that the family has suffered ever since.