Bengaluru: With the Congress, the coalition partner of the JD(S) too facing the heat of the movement for statehood now gaining momentum for North Karnataka, former Congress minister Satish Jarkiholi admitted that Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy's remarks on North Karnataka’s inability to fund its projects, had damaged the Congress image. He felt the CM may have to withdraw his remarks, if the situation spirals out of control.
Speaking to reporters in Vidhana Soudha on Tuesday, Mr Jarkiholi said if things go from bad to worse and the movement for statehood gets stronger, the Congress may have to find an alternative way to control the situation.
“Earlier, the Lingayat religion tag issue damaged the Congress image to a large extent. I don't know in what context the CM made the remark. We are also working on alternative methods of damage control,” he said.
Mr Jarkiholi made it clear that he would also join the protest planned in Belagavi since the issue was all about development of the region. “We want our region to become like Bengaluru, Mysuru and Mangaluru,” he said. “Development of North Karnataka is our aim. I don't want to go into the details of Mr Kumaraswamy’s budget. However, a lot of allocation was made to North Karnataka in former CM Siddaramaiah's budget. Mr Kumaraswamy is not the CM for only Ramanagara and Channapatna (in the Old Mysuru region). He is CM for the entire state,” he said.
When asked if North Karnataka had receive less representation in the Cabinet, compared to Old Mysuru region, Mr Jarkiholi said such a situation existed from the time late Ramakrishna Hegde was Chief Minister. “We have asked for more representation for North Karnataka in the cabinet,” he said. Taking a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party, the former minister said that if the saffron party tried to derive political mileage from the issue, it would boomerang on them...