Ramesh Jarkiholi defeated his younger brother and Congress candidate, Lakhan Jarkiholi by a huge margin.

news Karnataka Bye-polls Monday, December 09, 2019 - 14:24

Ramesh Jarkiholi, the politician who started the rebellion that brought down the Congress-JD(S) coalition, has emerged victorious in the bye-elections held in Gokak on December 5. 

Ramesh Jarkiholi defeated his younger brother and Congress candidate, Lakhan Jarkiholi by a huge margin. The bye-poll battle in Gokak, was a high-pitched one as the Jarkiholi brothers were up against each other. This was also a crucial one as Ramesh Jarkiholi, who started the rebellion in the Congress managed to gather the support of 16 other MLAs and bring down the coalition government. 

“Ramesh and Balachandra got together and won. The people elected him. He has been scaring people and winning. But let us see how much development he will carry out. I know Balachandra will leave him (Ramesh) in lurch but we have to accept the people’s mandate. I hope that there is development in this region,” Lakhan Jarkiholi said after being defeated. 

Ramesh Jarkiholi had openly rebelled against the Congress in October 2018 after the PLD Bank elections, where his rival, Lakshmi Hebbalkar, was elected as the President of the PLD Bank. 

He had accused former Water Resource Minister DK Shivakumar of interfering in the politics of the Belagavi Congress. 

Ramesh Jarkiholi had also expressed disappointment with former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, for being removed as the Minister for Municipalities during the cabinet reshuffle. In November this year, Ramesh Jarkiholi openly stated that he had orchestrated the rebellion. Ramesh had said that he had approached incumbent Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, after which, he held talks with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Muralidhar Rao in Hyderabad, where he had promised the BJP leaders to bring in 16 other MLAs to bring down the coalition. 

Soon after the Supreme Court allowed the disqualified MLAs to contest polls in November this year, Ramesh Jarkiholi had said that he had tried to bring down the coalition government seven times before he finally succeeded in July. 

His victory comes as a major blow to the Congress top brass in Karnataka as the fight in Gokak was a personal one for Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar. DK Shivakumar was also not allowed to campaign in Belagavi and sources say that it was due to the money laundering case filed against him. 

Ramesh Jarkiholi’s victory, is especially a bitter pill for Siddaramaiah to swallow, as Ramesh was once considered his loyalist. 

Gokak has for long been the fiefdom of Ramesh Jarkiholi since 1999. A five-time MLA from the region, Ramesh Jarkiholi continues to hold his fort.