6 legislators meet Pradhan over Jarkiholi’s ‘interference’
Around six legislators held meetings with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP)’s election in-charge for Karnataka, Dharmendra Pradhan, on Sunday, raising concerns about the Gokak legislator Ramesh Jarkiholi’s interference in their constituencies and the election preparations.
One of the leaders in the know of the development said as per the instructions of Union home minister Amit Shah, Pradhan met the legislators individually in Belagavi last Sunday and gathered information about their winning chances.
Legislators who don’t want to be named said that about nine of the total 13 legislators from the district expressed their disappointment over Jarkiholi’s interference in their constituencies, and Jarkiholi is planning to field candidates of his choice against sitting legislators.
“After the state leadership was not responded to our complaint, we brought this to the notice of Pradhan. However, more disappointing he didn’t tell anything about the matter,” the leaders said.
They added that they told Pradhan that the party would suffer a great setback in the upcoming election if Jarkiholi was not restricted. The legislators said they also had brought this to the notice of Shah, who instructed them to forget the internal disputes and work unitedly to retain power in the state.
“Unfortunately he also not solved our problem. The silence and negligence of our central leadership would prove costly to the party in the election,” a legislator said.
Legislators told Pradhan that Ramesh wants to field Uttam Patil in place of minister Shashikala from Nippani, Nagesh Mannolkar from Belagavi Rural, Kiran Jadhav from Belagavi South in place of MLA Abhay Patil, Dr. Ravi Patil from Belagavi North instead of MLA Anil Benake and his supporters from other constituencies, they alleged.
Former deputy chief minister Laxman Savadi and Ramesh Jarkiholi are at loggerheads as Jarkiholi wants his aide Mahesh Kumathalli to contest from Athani instead of Savadi.
BJP leader Laxman Savadi, who was defeated by Kumathalli from Athani in the 2018 Assembly elections is also eyeing a party ticket. Kumathalli won the 2018 polls on a Congress ticket. He later joined BJP and won the by-poll on the BJP ticket.
The meeting comes after Jarkiholi, on Friday, warned the ruling BJP that he would not contest elections if his close aide Mahesh Kumathalli is not given a ticket from Athani to contest the Assembly elections. Kumathalli was among the 17 MLAs who resigned from Congress and JDS to support BJP.
Ramesh Jarkiholi, who was in Vijayapura as part of ‘Vijaya Sankalpa Yatre’ said that Kumathalli must get a ticket. “Let me make it clear that if the party gives a ticket to Kumathalli, who is my friend, only then, I will contest from Gokak,” Jarkiholi said.
He was replying to the statement of former CM BS Yediyurappa who said 4-6 MLAs might not get a ticket this time.