Karnataka’s Minister of Water Resources Ramesh Jarkiholi on Wednesday tendered his resignation to Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa following allegations of sexual harassment against him.
His resignation follows alleged video clips showing Jarkiholi an intimate relationship with an unidentified young woman and audio conversations between the two, which aired on TV stations, which created controversy within the ruling BJP in the state. Social activist Dinesh Kalahalli, who claimed he was cleared by the woman’s family, then filed a complaint with Cubbon Park police in Bangalore, alleging that the woman in the video clips was attracted to the minister with the offer of a job in the government.
On Wednesday, Jarkiholi, who has denied any wrongdoing, tendered his resignation on moral grounds through his brother and BJP MP Balachandra Jarkiholi. demanded a CBI investigation into the case. “The allegations against me are far from the truth, an investigation is needed to prove the truth. Although I am convinced that I am innocent, I am submitting my resignation for moral reasons. Please accept my resignation, ”said the letter delivered to CM Yediyurappa by Jarkiholi.
Karnataka’s Minister of Water Resources Ramesh Jarkiholi resigns after a video showing him allegedly seeking sexual favors from a woman emerged on Tuesday. In his letter to the CM @BSYBJP, he says the charges against him are not true and calls for an investigation. (1/2) @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/TGSaEKa6zW
– Darshan Devaiah BP (@DarshanDevaiahB) March 3, 2021
The resignation came amid pressure from the BJP at the center and the state of embarrassing allegations ahead of the upcoming polls in five states. Earlier today, Jarkiholi had seemed adamant not to give up. “It’s a conspiracy. It’s a fake video. Will resign and quit politics if the allegations are proven. I don’t know this person or who they are, ”he said in an early reaction to the scandal on Wednesday.
Police have yet to register a formal case and are verifying the legitimacy of the complaint lodged by the social activist, Deputy Police Commissioner MN Anucheth said following the complaint.
The CD with Ramesh Jarkiholi preceded the announcement of the bypasses at the headquarters of Belagavi Lok Sabha which became vacant last year following the death of Covid-19 of Suresh Angadi, then Minister of State for Railways in the government led by Narendra Modi at the center.
Jarkiholi is one of four brothers active in Karnataka politics from the Belagavi region and is known to nurture ambition to become chief minister. He played a key role in engineering the defections of 17 congressional and JDS deputies to the BJP in 2019. This had helped the BJP topple the Congress-JDS coalition government and come to power in July 2019.
A bitter personal feud with current Congress President DK Shivakumar – both previously associates – over control of the Belagavi region is believed to be the reason for the collapse of the Congress-JDS coalition in 2019.
The BJP is wary of the water resources minister’s alleged gender CD issue disrupting a budget session of the state legislature scheduled to begin on March 4.