Water Resources Minister in BJP Government Karnataka Ramesh Jarkiholi Wednesday submitted his resignation to CM B S Yediyurappa following allegations of sexual harassment against him.

Purported video clips showing Minister  Ramesh Jarkiholi getting intimate with an unidentified woman were aired by Kannada news channels. A social activist, Dinesh Kalahalli, who claimed he was authorised by the woman’s family, later filed a complaint with the Cubbon Park police in capital Bengaluru alleging that the woman in the video clips was enticed by the minister with the offer of a government job.

CD featuring BJP Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi has come ahead of the announcement of bypolls to the Belagavi Lok Sabha seat which fell vacant last year following the death from Covid-19 of Suresh Angadi, the then Minister of State for Railways in the Modi-led government at the Centre.

Ramesh Jarkiholi is among 4 brothers who are active in Karnataka politics from the Belagavi region & is known to nurse an ambition to become chief minister. He played a key role in engineering defections of 17 Congress and JDS MLAs to the BJP in 2019. This had helped the BJP topple the Congress-JDS coalition government & come to power in July 2019.

A bitter personal feud with current state Congress President D K Shivakumar — both were associates earlier — over control of the Belagavi region is believed to be the reason behind the collapse of the Congress-JDS coalition in 2019.

Ramesh Jarkiholi’s brother, BJP MLA Balachandra Jarkiholi, sought a CBI probe into the allegations & also threatened to file Rs hundred crore defamation case against those who released a “fake CD”. “Nobody knows the identity of the woman, who they claim has faced injustice. Someone gives the complaint claiming her relatives insisted on it. Taking that complaint itself is wrong, because the person affected has to give the complaint, not someone on the street,” Balachandra Jarkiholi said.

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