BENGALURU: Beneath the veneer of unity and camaraderie in the Congress-JD(S) coalition ministry, growing disenchantment among Congress ministers towards the top brass of their coalition partner, the so-called Gowda troika who have made it difficult for Congress ministers to function, has seen Ramesh Jarkiholi (in pic), Minister for municipal administration, emerge as the leading voice among 10-13 ministers who are close to quitting their cabinet posts.
A high level source close to Satish Jarkiholi, the brother and Yemkanamardi MLA who lost out in the ministerial race said "wait and watch" , signaling that they were still mulling their next move. But other sources in Congress said the ministers were upset that their every move was stymied by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, his father and Dal (S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda and his elder sibling and PWD minister H D Revanna, who have systematically blocked the ministers from the larger coalition partner, from running their ministries, and maybe looking at quitting any time soon.
The Congress ministers have raised their discomfort with the CM, with KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao, former chief minister Siddaramaiah and others, but to no avail. Ramesh Jarkiholi, extremely unhappy with Mr Kumaraswamy is reported to have taken his list of grouses to AICC leaders in Delhi as well.
Congress top brass have pacified the leader who interestingly has patched up with his estranged brother Mr Satish Jarkiholi, AICC secretary in-charge of Telangana. The Jarkiholis who hold the key to the Congress' resurgence in North Karnatka, could well be waiting for the right moment to strike, sources in the party told DC. Top sources have revealed that Mr Jarkiholi has openly said that he was reduced to a minister without work and all the decisions were being taken by the chief minister and his group.
"We also worked under Siddaramaiah who gave us a lot of freedom to execute a lot of work in our departments. Under the present dispensation, we have no work to do," he complained to both the KPCC and AICC leaders, who in turn have assured him that they would take care of his interests. Sources close to the brothers said that Ramesh Jarkiholi backed by his brother Satish Jarkiholi were moving cautiously to garner support of the MLAs who shared their dissapointment with the Kumaraswamy government.
"As of now, he has got 10-12 MLAs. They want to get more on their side before taking a any action, including resigning from the Congress party," sources said. On Monday deputy leader of BJP, Govind Karjol had said that the government would fall after Shravana maasa, signaling that the Jarkiholis could be moving closer to the BJP. However sources said that the Belagavi 'big two' have not yet made up their mionds on whether to rock the boat or not. "As Jarkiholi and other Congress dissidents are close to former chief minister, Siddaramaiah, any attempt at breaking the party may bring bad name to Mr Siddaramaiah. That is why they are thinking twice about whether they should go ahead or lie low," sources said.