Sex CD case: Congress brass asks state unit to tread cautiously | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The Congress high command has reportedly asked party functionaries in Karnataka to exercise restraint while commenting on the sex CD controversy involving Ramesh Jarkiholi, fearing that personal attacks may backfire and benefit BJP. It is concerned about the chatter in political circles that Jarkiholi’s supporters are trying to blame state Congress president DK Shivakumar for the controversy.
Shivakumar and Jarkiholi, who was earlier in Congress, have a history of bad blood. Their rivalry in Congress worsened after Belagavi Rural MLA Lakshmi Hebbalkar moved from Jarkiholi’s camp to Shivakumar’s. Jarkiholi then demanded that he be made the water resources minister, a role Shivakumar was handling in the Congress-JD(S) government. Later, Jarkiholi engineered a rebellion, which destabilised the coalition government and handed BJP the advantage.
“The Congress leadership is closely following the developments in the CD case. It suspects the BS Yediyurappa government’s decision to order an SIT probe is aimed at bailing out Jarkiholi and framing Congress functionaries, and that’s why it wants us to be cautious,” said a Congress functionary.
Randeep Singh Surjewala, the AICC general secretary who is in charge of Karnataka, and KC Venugopal, the party’s organisational general secretary, reportedly called Shivakumar and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah on Thursday to convey the high command’s message.
According to Congress insiders, the party leadership has taken note of Shivakumar’s reaction to the case. “The concern is that personal attacks or cheap shots by Congress members may send the message that the party is trying to exploit the situation,” said the functionary. The Congress camp is said to be worried about the possibility of Jarkiholi filing a complaint. His brother and BJP MLA, Balachandra, said that they had gathered evidence to show that there was a conspiracy against Jarkiholi.
The Congress leadership has praised the state unit’s decision to boycott six ministers, who have obtained an injunction against defamatory news reports, in the legislature by not asking them any questions. The state unit has been encouraged to devise more token protests.
“We will discuss the issue (CD case) internally. It is observed that there are efforts to drag Congress into this muddle. Those apparently caught in the scandal are arguing that it is a fake CD. It remains to be seen whether it is fake or genuine,” Shivakumar said.
Meanwhile, Congress is thinking about forming a coordination committee headed by seniors like Mallikarjun Kharge in the wake of the power tussles between Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah camps. “The coordination committee is part of the party system, and we plan to revamp it. It’s relevance is felt more in the current political situation in Karnataka. It will be reconstituted soon,” said Madhu Yashki Goud, AICC secretary in charge of Karnataka.

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Sagar Biswas

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