Updated: March 29, 2021 8:47:33 am
As the sex-for-job CD controversy surrounding Ramesh Jarkiholi continues to rock political circles in Karnataka, stones were pelted at state Congress president D K Shivakumar’s car while he was in Belagavi, a stronghold of the former BJP minister.
Even as sources close to Shivakumar confirmed that the leader and his support staff were not injured, Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah termed the incident a “BJP-sponsored act”. He wrote on Twitter, “I condemn the act of stone-pelting by followers of Ramesh Jarkiholi on the vehicles of @KPCCPresident @DKShivakumar. This is @BJP4Karnataka sponsored act. People of Karnataka will not let this go.”
The incident took place while Shivakumar and senior leaders, including Ramalinga Reddy and M B Patil, were in the north Karnataka district to campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha bypolls.
This also comes a day after Jarkiholi slammed Shivakumar for indulging in such a “filthy conspiracy”. Jarkiholi had been hinting about the involvement of a “mahanayaka” (great leader) behind the video clip and its leak. Jarkiholi has also announced a “political and legal” battle against Shivakumar.
Shivakumar on his part, however, said he has nothing to do with the case as he has never met the woman.
Meanwhile, the woman, allegedly involved in the video, released two more video statements — the fourth and fifth since she went missing — after she filed two FIRs against Jarkiholi on Friday and Saturday respectively. While she sought protection for her family in the fourth, she claimed her parents were speaking under the influence of someone in the fifth video. She added that she was even scared to appear before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to give her statement.
Woman’s family holds Shivakumar ‘responsible’
The woman’s parents and brothers on Saturday appeared before the SIT which is probing the scandal. They were questioned for nearly six hours regarding their kidnapping complaint and the woman’s video clips.
“We have evidence. We have spoken to officials (SIT) and have given it to them. We are ready to share it with you as well. My daughter is an example of politics being played using a Schedule Tribe (ST) woman,” the woman’s father told reporters after appearing before the SIT.
“If anything happens to our family, D K Shivakumar is responsible for it. I am an ex-soldier. I have protected the country, but I couldn’t protect my daughter. For your dirty politics, you are using a woman. Send her back to us,” he added.
Stating that the family was under no pressure and because of their current mental situation, they have put up at a relative’s house, he dismissed concerns expressed by his daughter about their safety and asked her to return.
The woman’s brother, too, alleged that Shivakumar was behind all of this and he has evidence for it. “My sister has been used for making such videos. D K Shivakumar has done it and I have evidence,” he added.
Minutes after the woman’s family spoke to the media, Jarkiholi said, “I’m ready to join hands with Kumaraswamy (of JDS) or anyone against him. I will not contest from Gokak. My brother will do so and I will make sure Shivakumar loses.”
Reacting to the statements, Shivakumar said Jarkiholi was speaking out of frustration and that he cannot respond to whatever allegations someone level as he has nothing to do with it. “There is law, there are officials, let the investigation happen. I have nothing to do with it,” he added.
Meanwhile, in a series of tweets, JD(S) stated that the scandal has put Karnataka to shame before the nation. “What initially looked like a sex scandal and sexual exploitation now seems like a conspiracy. The name of D K Shivakumar (Congress leader) has figured, making it look like a case of honey-trap. In all this, Karnataka is being put to shame before the nation,” the regional party, headed by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, tweeted.
(With inputs from agencies)
📣 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.