Bengaluru: Former minister and Gokak MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi's rebellion has evidently fizzled out in view of a tepid response from other legislators and a rebuff by senior leaders of the party.
His threat of quitting the party along with other legislators has come a cropper as those identified as his camp followers have fallen in line with directions from the party to distance themselves from the disgruntled leader. Besides, state unit leaders also ignored his repeated threats to jump ship and join the BJP as well as blame his younger sibling Satish Jarkiholi for setting him up to revolt against state leaders and face the prospect of disqualification as CLP leader, Siddaramaiah, has included his name in the list of four legislators while moving Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar a couple of months ago. Mr Ramesh Jarkiholi not only skipped a crucial meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) but also stayed away from the budget session of legislature for some time as a mark of protest against the move to drop him from the ministry during a reshuffle. He and a couple of other legislators camped in Mumbai for almost a month, triggering speculation about longevity of the coalition government. Besides, his demand for a meeting with party president Rahul Gandhi was an exercise in futility.
Sources in Congress said the move by party leaders to ignore his threats of quitting the party has embarrassed Mr Ramesh Jarkiholi to such an extent that he has not been able to return to his home district Belagavi without quitting. Forests minister Satish Jarkiholi had slammed his elder brother and dubbed him as person without guts to implement promises made to people of Belagavi. He also demanded action against Mr Ramesh Jarkiholi for anti-party activities during the recent Lok Sabha polls as the former minister reportedly campaigned for BJP candidate in Belagavi. Sources said once KPCC president Dinesh Gundurao, deputy chief minister Dr G Parameshwar and water resources minister D K Shivakumar realized that he had lost power, they gave up efforts to convince him against quitting the party and the Assembly. Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy held one round of talks with Mr Ramesh Jarkiholi but seems unlikely to hold another meeting in view of depleted support from other legislators. The only option for Mr Ramesh Jarkiholi would be to keep mum rather than brag about bringing down the coalition government, according to a senior Congress leader.