Karnataka Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi on Saturday threatened to resign as minister as well as the member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) if his confidant and Athani MLA Mahesh Kumathalli is not given a ministerial position in the BS Yediyurappa cabinet.
Jarkiholi and Kumathalli were among the 17 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs who brought down the coalition government headed by HD Kumaraswamy in July 2019 and helped install the BJP government with full majority in the state.
Out of the 17, 12 of them got re-elected as BJP MLAs in the bye-polls in December 2019, cementing the position of BS Yediyurappa as the Chief Minister of the state for the remainder of the term. Out of these 12, 10 of them took oath as ministers earlier on February 10.
However, Kumathalli was not accommodated despite winning the bypolls in December 2019 from Athani constituency. Since then, he had been constantly reminding the BJP of its 'Vachana Dharma.'
"Certain things cannot be said openly. Mahesh Kumathalli was mainly responsible for the formation of the BJP government in the state. He may get a good post. We will not let injustice happen to him," Jarkiholi told reporters in Belagavi.
When journalists reminded Jarkiholi of Kumathalli's statement that the team responsible for bringing down the coalition government has left him in lurch, Jarkiholi said, "He has not said that. The moment he says that, I will resign as MLA. I will resign as minister also. Let him come out and say once. It's not possible."
Meanwhile, Kumathalli said he was no longer discontented. "No injustice has happened to me. The irrigation facility in our area has improved and we are quite content," he added.
He also said the projects that were pending for decades have now been taken up.
To a question on the denial of ministerial berth which he has been yearning for, Kumathalli said, "When the time comes, I will become a minister."