Bengaluru: A day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi instructed the state leadership to hold talks with the Jarkiholi brothers piloting the rebellion in the party, former CM Siddaramaiah spoke to the Belagavi brothers to ascertain the reasons for their grouse against the party.
Sources close to Mr Siddaramaiah told Deccan Chronicle that taking a short break during the marathon meeting held here on Sunday in which AICC General Secretary K.C. Venugopal, KPCC President Dinesh Gundurao, KPCC Working President Eshwar Khandre and Deputy Chief Minister Dr G. Parameshwar participated, the former CM had a telephonic talk with both Municipal Administration Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi and his brother and Yamakanamaradi Congress MLA Satish Jarkiholi.
The Jarkiholi brothers reportedly complained to Mr Siddaramaiah about Medical Education and Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar's interference in Belagavi politics. However, they reportedly ruled out quitting the Congress to join the BJP, which is trying it best to poach on the disgruntled Congress legislators to reach the magic mark of 113 to form a government of its own.
The Jarkiholi brothers are said to have expressed their ire over Mr Shivakumar's support to Ms Lakshmi Hebbalkar in her bid to control the Congress in Belagavi district.
Mr Siddaramaiah is also said to be puzzled why his name had been dragged into the latest controversy at a time when he was on a 12-day foreign tour. The Belagavi brothers were waiting for his return as they feel he is one leader who understands them better than Dr Parameshwar or Mr Gundurao. This is also why the high command has directed Mr Siddaramaiah and Mr Venugopal to sort out the issue immediately before it damages the party image with the crucial Lok Sabha polls slated to be held early next year.
Sources said Mr Siddaramaiah who is also chairman of the coordination committee, reportedly instructed both Mr Ramesh and Mr Satish to fall in line before the high command takes their 'rebellion' seriously. The Jarkiholi brothers are said to have poured out their woes before their leader and asked him to issue 'suitable' direction to Mr Shivakumar to stop interfering in the affairs of Belagavi.
Mr Siddaramaiah does not want to annoy the Jarkiholis who wield influence in some Assembly constituencies in the district which would be of help to the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls. He reportedly promised to address their grievances and asked them not to take any decision in haste. “The Jarkiholi brothers have now called a truce after talking to him” sources claimed....