Updated: March 11, 2021 8:27:15 am
FORMER KARNATAKA minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, who was forced to resign on March 3 after being linked to a sex CD scandal, on Tuesday claimed that a “Mahanayak (top leader)” in the state framed him and alleged that the woman seen in the CD was paid Rs 5 crore for the entrapment.
In an interaction with the media, his first public appearance since the scandal broke out, Jarkiholi claimed he was a victim of a conspiracy to end his political career and bring his family into disrepute.
“A top leader is involved in this conspiracy. I will not rest without sending the people behind the efforts to defame me to jail,” he said. “These people who are behind this are showpieces and do not have real political strength. They can be defeated easily.”
Jarkiholi said those who hatched the conspiracy were from the Bengaluru region, and not his home region of Belagavi. “We are gathering all information regarding this attempt to defame me and my family. This has not done with a political intent but with a personal intent to finish my political life. It is too early to reveal the identity of the ‘top leader’ and others,” the former state water resources minister said.
“The big leader in this conspiracy is from the Bengaluru region and not from north Karnataka. We do not do this dirty kind of politics in north Karnataka. We help our enemies also when they are in trouble, we only take them on politically. This dirty politics is the handiwork of people active in politics in the Bengaluru region,” Jarkiholi said.
He said he would seek a proper investigation into the efforts to create the sex CD, its financing and distribution. “For me, restoring the dignity of my family is what is most important,” he said.
Jarkiholi resigned from the B S Yediyurappa-led BJP government a day after television channels broadcast the CD and audio recordings of conversations purportedly between him and the unidentified woman.
The former minister claimed conspiracy was hatched in the Yeshwanthpur and Orion Mall region of north Bengaluru. “The woman was paid Rs 5 crore – not Rs 50 lakh – Rs 5 crore. She has been given an apartment abroad. We are collecting all the information,” he said.
He claimed he had been alerted about the possible existence of a sex CD featuring him around four months ago but he had brushed it aside saying he had done no wrong. Three persons – one of his brothers who is in the BJP, a former MLA, and a well-wisher in the BJP – had alerted him, he said.
After the alleged sex CD of Jarkiholi appeared in public domain, a social activist, Dinesh Kallahalli, approached the Bengaluru police with a complaint alleging that the woman in the videos was coerced by the former minister with the offer of a government job. The activist has now chosen to withdraw his complaint but has not been permitted as yet by the police.
Balachandra Jarkiholi, the younger brother of Ramesh Jarkiholi, has claimed that the social activist was probably misled into believing that the sexual encounters recorded and released in the media involved sexual harassment of the woman.
The Jarkiholis have claimed they will seek a criminal probe into the conspiracy. State Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Tuesday that he would consult Chief Minister Yediyurappa and decide on the kind of probe that needs to be ordered.
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