Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's visit to Belagavi on Saturday to participate in the platinum jubilee celebrations of the Karnatak Law Society has raised eyebrows. The visit comes at a time news reports are discussing possible ruptures in the coalition government due to MLAs Ramesh and Satish Jarkiholi, who are from the district.
However, in an attempt to set the record straight, Kumaraswamy clarified to reporters in Bengaluru that the visit to Belagavi was not scheduled to meet Ramesh and Satish Jarkiholi. "I am going to Belagavi and I am taking part in a meeting with the President. I will also listen to the grievances of the people there and (Ramesh) Jarkiholi is with me itself. He is in constant touch with me. There have been no differences," Kumaraswamy said.
However, Kumaraswamy further added that he knows about possible 'dissidence' within the ruling government and had prepared a list of MLAs. "My list is different to yours (media). I am interested in the development of the state and to protect this government," he added.
Ramesh Jarkiholi, who is also the Municipal Administration Minister is scheduled to be present at the celebrations of the Karnatak Law Society. "There is no meeting with him on the schedule because he will be part of the Chief Minister's delegation throughout his visit to Belagavi," said Dinesh, a spokesperson with the JD(S).
The clarification from the CM comes days after news emerged that the two brothers were threatening to quit the coalition government if their demands are not met.
The platinum jubilee celebrations of the Karnatak Law Society will be attended by Ramnath Kovind, President of India. Chief Minister Kumaraswamy is also set to hold a 'Janata Darshan' on Saturday afternoon from 3 pm to 5 pm at the Suvarna Soudha in Belagavi. He will accept applications from the public regarding grievances of the coalition government's governance.
The visit comes just a month after the demand for a separate North Karnataka state resurfaced in August. The long-standing demand was in the news again after activists and politicians in the 13 northern districts accused the ruling government of favouring the southern districts. However, the calls for a bandh in the northern districts on August 2 fizzled out even before it could take off.
CM Kumaraswamy had also announced the decision of moving some administrative offices out of Bengaluru to Belagavi, which is one of the demands of the activists in the region.