Bengaluru: The Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi of ruling BJP in Karnataka landed in a legal soup after a video CD surfaced on Tuesday featuring him with a young unidentified woman, and audio conversations between the two, being played on television channels.
As per reports, the social activist, Dinesh Kalahalli, who claimed he was authorised by the woman’s family, filed a complaint with the Cubbon Park police in Bengaluru alleging that the woman in the video clips was lured by the minister with the offer of a government job.
Following the emergence of the alleged sex CD on Tuesday, youth Congress workers staged protests in different parts of the state demanding Jarkiholi’s resignation. BJP leaders, however, have not reacted on the issue, while Jarkiholi himself remained incommunicado as his phone went on switched off mode.
Meanwhile, the police is verifying the legitimacy of the complaint, and hasn’t registered a formal case, said the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) M N Anucheth.
In view of the incident, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa held a meeting with party colleagues and as per sources a decision on seeking Jarkiholi’s resignation will be taken after hearing him out. “Party leaders will decide on the issue,” said Primary Education Minister Suresh Kumar.
Jarkiholi, a powerful minister from the Belagavi region of north Karnataka in the Yediyurappa-led BJP government, had a bitter personal feud with current state Congress President D K Shivakumar, both were associates earlier, over control of the Belagavi region, which is believed to be the reason behind the collapse of the 2019 Congress-JDS coalition.
The 60-year-old played a key role in engineering defections of 17 Congress and JDS MLAs to the BJP in 2019. This had helped the BJP topple the Congress-JDS coalition government and come to power in July 2019. Since then, Jarkiholi has been a central rallying point for MLAs who are new entrants to the BJP and other rebels. He has also been at the forefront of a campaign to seek an increase in quota for his ST Valmiki Nayak community in the state.