Nation Current Affairs 09 Sep 2018 Jarkiholi-Hebbalkar ...

Jarkiholi-Hebbalkar row: Power tussle in Belagavi

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | VITTAL SHASTRI
Published Sep 9, 2018, 6:26 am IST
Updated Sep 9, 2018, 6:26 am IST
Rise of Laxmi unites Jarkiholi clan in Lingayat-Valmiki battle for oneupmanship.
Laxmi Hebbalkar.
 Laxmi Hebbalkar.

Hubballi: The Jarkiholi family is one of the few clans which has continued to enjoy political influence in Belagavi.  Three of the five Jarkiholi brothers are legislators, who have been calling the shots in both the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party for the last two decades in the district. While  the family runs an excise contract business, it is more known for its many educational institutions and sugar factories. But it has not always been smooth sailing for it as the brothers were at loggerheads for years. Their  dislike for Laxmi Hebbalkar, president of the state Congress’s women wing, however, united them in a span of just three months after she won the Assembly elections for the first time from Belagavi rural constituency. 

The second oldest among the five brothers, Satish Jarkiholi,  was the first to enter  politics by winning the MLC election from the local  bodies in 1997.  At the time  the political activities of the family were confined to merely Gokak taluk.  But Mr Satish’s  influence grew after he became MLA from the reserved Yamakanmaradi constituency in 2008.  He has since represented it for three consecutive terms and has become the face of the Nayak community to which the family belongs. 

 

His elder brother, Ramesh Jarkiholi was elected to the Assembly from Gokak for the first time in 1999. Though the two brothers joined the Congress, a third brother, Balachandra, joined the BJP.  The brothers in the Congress began to feud after Mr Satish was replaced by Mr Ramesh in the Siddaramaiah Cabinet after the former quit the ministry in a huff in 2015 over being allotted the excise ministry instead of  social welfare. Mr Siddaramaiah later intervened to reunite the brothers before the recent assembly poll. 

“Satish Jarkiholi is a principled politician and his brothers have grown under his shadow,” notes political analyst, Ashok Chandaragi. Meanwhile, following the arrival of Ms Laxmi Hebbalkar on the political scene, Mr Ramesh developed a good rapport with her and the two even had a few financial dealings.  Mr Satish  played a key role in her appointment as district president as well as president of the Karnataka Congress women’s wing.

 

She was nominated as member of Khanapur sugar factory and given several other posts after Mr D K Shivakumar became co-operation minister in 2002. But Ms Hebbalkar began to interfere in matters like transfers of officials after she became an MLA, forcing the Jarkiholi brothers  to intervene and have such transfers cancelled to reinstate their officials. The election to the PLD bank  became a flashpoint in their relationship  as she won over most of its directors, who once identified with the Jarkiholi camp.

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Location: India, Karnataka




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