Bengaluru, Nov 30 (PTI) Karnataka Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi Friday denied reports that some disgruntled Congress MLAs loyal to him had planned to shift to Mumbai ahead of the December 10 assembly session. Also Read - Mumbai Rains: Heavy Rains Paralyse City, IMD Warns of 'Flooding', Local Trains Suspended Due to Waterlogging; BMC Declares Holiday
He alleged that attempts were being made by some “self proclaimed influential party leaders” to damage his image. Also Read - Kangana Ranaut Receives Notice From BMC Over 'Unauthorised Construction' of Her Residence, Here’s What They Found ‘Illegal’
“I have been here at my home since the last two days, there is a propaganda going on about Mumbai, you (media) think about it,” Jarkiholi told reporters here. Also Read - Mumbai Rains Updates: IMD Predicts More Rains, CM Takes Stock of Situation
“I won’t say much. I feel that this is the work of self proclaimed influential Congress leaders to damage my name,” he added.
Conceding that he had some differences with the party, Jarkiholi clarified that the issues were resolved after mediation by former chief minister Siddaramaiah and senior Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge.
“I don’t know why leaving everything, the media friends are doing this in the name of Ramesh Jarkiholi… Kindly close this (matter)… Everything is resolved. You can see whether I’m in Mumbai or Bengaluru,” he added.
The reports about shifting the lawmakers to Mumbai have come amidst a growing clamour among Congress MLAs to expand the coalition cabinet at the earliest and their alleged discomfort regarding the functioning of the government.
Though Jarkiholi did not name the “self proclaimed influential Congress leaders,” speculations were rife that it was directed towards Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar.
Reacting to the reports, Shivakumar asked the media to refrain from spoiling Jarkiholi’s image, calling him a “friend”.
“Why are you spoiling his (Jarkiholi) image? He is a loyal Congressman. He has grown in the party from the youth Congress. He won’t do such a thing. You (media) are creating it,” he said.
In September, the Congress was rocked by an internal dissent that was triggered by a faction of MLAs led by Jarkiholi, locked in a turf war with Shivakumar.
The siblings were apparently upset over Shivakumar allegedly trying to challenge their authority in Belagavi district through MLA Laxmi Hebbalkar.
It was also alleged that the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was in touch with the Jarkiholi brothers’ (Ramesh and MLA Satish) in a bid to dislodge the Congress-Janata Dal(Secular) coalition government.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.