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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Not just Ramesh Jarkiholi: Karnataka politicians have a history of alleged sex scandals

In 1973, R D Kittur resigned as minister of state for home from the Devaraj Ur's Cabinet, after he was accused of housing a woman who was missing. This is said to be the first case of resignation by a minister following such charges of “impropriety”.

Written by Darshan Devaiah BP | Bengaluru |
Updated: March 5, 2021 9:25:30 pm
Ramesh JarkiholiMembers of the Aam Adami Party raise slogans against Karnataka Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi for his alleged involvement in CD row in Bengaluru, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak)

After a video CD of Karnataka Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi seeking sexual favours from a woman in return for a government job emerged, the minister has resigned from the cabinet.

This is, however, not the first case in Karnataka politics where an alleged sex scandal of elected representatives was leaked to media.

– In 1973, R D Kittur resigned as minister of state for home from the Devaraj Ur’s Cabinet, after he was accused of housing a woman who was missing. This is said to be the first case of resignation by a minister following such charges of “impropriety”.

– In 2007, M P Renukacharya, MLA from Honnali in Davangere district, put the BJP party in the dock after a nurse alleged that he had harassed her and made public photographs of Renukacharya kissing her. She had then complained to the police and the state’s women’s commission.

Renukacharya was, however, inducted into the cabinet in 2008 where he was excise minister in Yeddiyurappa’s cabinet. Now he is political secretary to the Chief Minister.

– The next scandal surfaced when Hartal Halappa, the then Food and Civil Supplies Minister in the BJP government led by BS Yediyurappa government in 2010, resigned after his friend allegedly released a video to claim that his wife was allegedly raped by Halappa. He was subsequently acquitted by all charges in 2017.

– Three MLAs became headlines news across the nation, when in February 2012, they were caught watching pornography on their cell phones in the Assembly. Lakshman Savadi, who is now Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, Krishna Palemar and C C Patili, also the current information minister, was caught by the media, had to resign. After four years, a house committee held only Palemar guilty of sharing the clip and the other two leaders were given a clean chit.

– In 2013, a CD allegedly showing BJP MLA Raghupathi Bhat with women in a compromising position was leaked to various media just before the assembly elections. Later he backed out of the election in Udupi and after five years returned as a BJP candidate and won the 2018 assembly elections.

– In December 2015, former BJP minister SA Ramdas was accused of seeking sexual favours from women. Police had booked a case against Ramdas following a complaint from a woman.

Following the charges, Ramdas had allegedly attempted to commit suicide. After investigation, he was given a clean chit by the Criminal Investigation Department.

– In 2016, the then State Excise Minister, H.Y. Meti (71) in the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government resigned after a 30-second clip showing him with women was leaked to the media. The minister was accused of seeking sexual favours in exchange for a transfer.

– In 2017, the Criminal Investigation Department gave Meti a clean chit in the case and the alleged victim, too, claimed that Meti was like a father figure for her.

– In 2019, a video allegedly showing Mahadevapura MLA and present forest minister, Arvind Limbavali with another man was leaked on social media. Following a complaint by Limabavali to police, the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) cleared him stating that the purported sex tape was not genuine.

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