Updated: March 4, 2021 8:14:54 am
Karnataka Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi Wednesday submitted his resignation to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa following allegations of sexual harassment against him.
His resignation comes in the wake of purported video clips that showed Jarkiholi getting intimate with a young unidentified woman, and audio conversations between the two, being played on television channels, which created a controversy within the ruling BJP in the state.
A social activist, Dinesh Kalahalli, who claimed he was authorised by the woman’s family, later filed a complaint with the Cubbon Park police in Bengaluru alleging that the woman in the video clips was enticed by the minister with the offer of a government job.
On Wednesday Jarkiholi who denied any wrongdoing submitted his resignation on moral grounds through his brother and BJP MLA Balachandra Jarkiholi demanded a CBI probe into the matter.
“The allegations against me are far from the truth, an investigation is needed to prove the truth. Though I have faith of being proven innocent, I am submitting my resignation on moral grounds. Please accept my resignation,” the letter given to CM Yediyurappa by Jarkiholi stated.
Karnataka Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi resigns after a video purportedly showing him seeking sexual favours from a woman emerged on Tuesday. In his letter to CM @BSYBJP, he says charges against him is not true and requests to conduct an inquiry. (1/2) @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/TGSaEKa6zW
— Darshan Devaiah B P (@DarshanDevaiahB) March 3, 2021
Pressure had been mounting on Jarkiholi to step down with the allegations embarrassing the BJP ahead of forthcoming Assembly elections in four states and a Union Territory.
Earlier in the day, Jarkiholi had appeared adamant over not quitting. “It is a conspiracy. It is a fake video. Will resign and quit politics if allegations are proven. Don’t know this person or who she is, ” he had claimed in an early reaction to the scandal.
Police are yet to register a formal case and are verifying the legitimacy of the complaint brought by the social activist, deputy commissioner of police M N Anucheth said following the complaint.
The CD featuring Jarkiholi has come ahead of the announcement of bypolls to the Belagavi Lok Sabha seat which fell vacant last year following the death from Covid-19 of Suresh Angadi, the then Minister of State for Railways in the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre.
Jarkiholi is among four brothers who are active in Karnataka politics from the Belagavi region and is known to nurse an ambition to become chief minister. He played a key role in engineering defections of 17 Congress and JDS MLAs to the BJP in 2019. This had helped the BJP topple the Congress-JDS coalition government and come to power in July 2019.
A bitter personal feud with current state Congress President D K Shivakumar — both were associates earlier — over control of the Belagavi region is believed to be the reason behind the collapse of the Congress-JDS coalition in 2019.
The BJP is wary of the alleged sex CD issue of the water resources minister disrupting a budget session of the state legislature, which is scheduled to commence on March 4.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.