Nation Other News 24 Sep 2018 Never tried to toppl ...

Never tried to topple coalition govt says Satish Jarkiholi

Published Sep 24, 2018, 5:38 am IST
Updated Sep 24, 2018, 5:38 am IST
In politics, it is quite natural. I was dropped from the ministry (of Siddaramaiah),Satish Jarkiholi said.
Satish Jarkiholi
 Satish Jarkiholi

Unlike many politicians who don’t mind speaking too much and doing too little, Satish Jarkiholi, who has contributed a lot to the rise of former CM Siddaramaiah in the Congress party, is a man of few words. Ask him a question, controversial or irritating, he will give a reply at the most in two sentences. He does not show much emotion while speaking but is the satrap of Gokak, the fiefdom of the Jarkiholi brother. Satish and brother Ramesh Jarkiholi who were at loggerheads for a very long time, came together recently to rattle the Congress party bringing the coalition government to the brink. Finally, they met the chief minister, Mr H.D. Kumaraswamy and sorted out the issues. In conversation with Deccan Chronicle, the former minister spoke about their demands, future and their fight with Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar over his interference in Belagavi affairs. Here are the excerpts from his interview.

You met Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy who reportedly assured you that your demands will be fulfilled. What was this crisis all about?
There was a crisis-like situation, no doubt. It was rightly described as a political crisis. Because of the nomination to various local bodies, interference in elections and other issues, the situation reached a flash point.


Actually, what were your demands?
The interference of D.K. Shivakumar in the affairs of Belagavi district, be it nominations to local bodies or elections was one. Other issues were tagged to these and the situation worsened to this level. We wanted the district issues to be left to senior leaders from the district.

The impression given to the public was that you demanded the creation of a deputy chief minister post for your brother Ramesh, a cabinet berth for Nagendra, ST MLA from Ballari and stripping Mr Shivakumar of the responsibility of Ballari incharge minister. Isn’t it true?
No, we never demanded a DCM post. It was not at all on our agenda. Yes, we asked for a cabinet berth for a Ballari MLA. There is a demand that a cabinet berth be given to a ST leader and naturally, Nagendra fits the bill because, he is from that district and he is a ST leader. (long pause)


Isn’t it true that your camp demanded the KPCC president post if the DCM post was denied to you?
That question does not arise because I was one among the party leaders who lobbied for Dinesh Gundurao (current KPCC president). We said he should be made the PCC president. We can’t unceremoniously remove him. And we did not demand the post in the first place.

You could have sat with former CM, Siddaramaiah who is also the chairman of the co-ordination committee and discussed the issues...
If the issues pertained to the party, we could have discussed them with Mr Siddaramaiah. Some were related to the government, so, we had to discuss them with Mr Kumaraswamy. For instance, transfers of officials, allocation of funds for developmental works and nominations to elected bodies are related to the government. In these issues, the power rests with the CM therefore, we had to go to the CM to discuss them.


If one were to analyse your demands, they were very minor. So did your group actually try to destabilise the government?
No. We never attempted this. This was a misunderstanding. None of us were associated with that group which I saw on TV which tried to topple the government. You know about the PLD bank elections and the subsequent developments in Belagavi. To sort out those issues, we raised some questions. Neither did they (BJP)  approach us nor did we attempt to reach out to them. I heard that some MLAs were upset over cabinet berths and other issues. Their group should not be linked to us.


The PLD bank posts have gone to your rival camp. Isn’t it a setback for your group?
No no. KPCC working president Eshwar Khandre was there on the day of the elections. There was no contest. Of the 14 posts, 13 nominees were elected unopposed. All were common candidates and even the president was a common candidate. So, it can’t be described as our defeat.

You and Ramesh seem to have emerged as ‘Reddy Brothers’ of the Congress. Is this analogy right?
No it is unfair to say so. When politics in our district was taken over by someone else from outside and the leader consciously tried to undermine us, we can’t sit quiet. We have to raise our voice for our survival. This is not anti-party activity.


You know that D.K. Shivakumar is a Congress leader from a prominent caste and he can finish you off politically..
We are not against him on all issues. When it comes to party work, we join hands with him. In the past, there were instances when we worked with him. In future too, we will work together.

Many people close to you say you are soft but when you take up a challenge you will not hesitate to finish off your rivals. Is that true?
Not really. In politics, no one wants to lose and everyone wants to take control of the situation and win the battle. Isn’t it? I am also a politician, I want only victory and it’s quite natural that we fight to avert defeat and once we are sure we are out of danger, we will make efforts to win. Victory is our agenda. Probably, the success rate is very high in our case. Thats why such an impression has gained ground.


Did Mr Siddaramaiah ignore you in the past and do you have a feeling of betrayal?
In politics, it is quite natural. I was dropped from the ministry (of Siddaramaiah). For the party’s sake, I did not raise my voice then. However, others who were dropped from the cabinet, did raise their voice. If I have some work, I will go, otherwise, I will not go and spend time in leaders’ houses.

What is your next goal? 
The government should complete five years. Meanwhile, we have to build our party too.