BJP leader Ramesh Jarkiholi, who had resigned as Karnataka minister about two years ago owing to a sex scandal, on Monday accused Congress state president D K Shivakumar of being involved in the conspiracy to discredit him, and demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation against the ”racket” behind it.
Jarkiholi, a powerful minister holding the Water Resources portfolio, had resigned from his post in 2021 owing to the sex scandal, which had embarrassed the state government just ahead of a few states going to polls including West Bengal.
The woman, who was at the centre of the controversy, had alleged that the minister allegedly exploited her with the assurance of securing her a government job, a charge denied by Jarkiholi.
On Monday, the BJP Gokak MLA said the woman and her accomplices including two people from Mandya should be arrested to bring out the truth in the case.
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”I demand that the state government should hand over the case to the CBI. The girl should be arrested along with her accomplices, including two people from Mandya, whose names I will disclose before the CBI,” Jarkiholi said in a press meet at a private hotel here.
The former minister alleged that Congress leader Shivakumar tried to spoil his personal life.
”D K Shivakumar is unfit to be a politician. No one should spoil someone’s personal life. I never made personal attacks,” the BJP leader charged.
The former minister claimed he has evidence to prove that Shivakumar was behind it.
According to him, there are several sleaze videos of many politicians, including Congress leaders and top bureaucrats of the state, which are used for blackmailing.
”This is a very serious matter because many people have been honey trapped including Congress leaders and top officers who are being blackmailed. I urge the state government to hand over the case to the CBI,” Jarkiholi said.
The BJP MLA also said he would hand over the audio/video files and documentary evidence of illegal money transactions to the CBI if the state government handed over the case to the central agency.
Shivakumar was not available for comments. The Congress has also not reacted to the BJP leader’s allegations.
Since Jarkiholi had made indirect references to Congress MLA Laxmi Hebbalkar alleging that she was also part of the conspiracy, her brother Channaraj Hattiholi condemned the statement.
Addressing a press conference, Hattiholi, a Congress leader, said there was no clarity in the press meet convened by Jarkiholi.
”It is easy to make allegations. Instead of levelling charges and speaking lies, if you (Jarkiholi) make documents and evidence public, we will give you a reply,” Hattiholi said.
He also wondered why the BJP government did not hand over the sex scandal case to the CBI forcing the Gokak MLA to demand it after remaining silent for nearly two years.