The month-long sleaze CD saga has taken an interesting turn after the parents of the woman at the centre of the controversy directly blamed Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D. K. Shivakumar’s role in the entire episode.
After this development, it has turned into a political slugfest between Shivakumar and the main accused, former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, it appears.
A leader said that partly Shivakumar is to blame for this since he never tried to dissociate with this case. Instead, he gave an impression that he was behind this entire episode, which seems to have turned against him.
Many senior leaders with whom IANS interacted since the CD was released feel that Shivakumar has a lot more to lose in this entire episode compared to Jarkiholi as the latter was seen only as minister material while Shivakumar had elevated himself to a select group of leaders who were Chief Minister material.
“Such being the case, it is the general perception that those who harbour ambitions of sitting on the top seat must not get embroiled in such controversies. With the ruling BJP’s social media cell flooding messages saying Shivakumar is behind the sleaze CD case, it will certainly hurt Shivakumar’s image more than Jarkiholi,” a leader added.
The leader added that tainted Jarakiholi was no match to Shivakumar in any which way.
“Shivakumar cultivated an image of a troubleshooter, but with this case he is now being seen as a trouble-maker by a large section of political leaders cutting across party lines. This will be a big impediment in his growth. Most of the MLAs may not open up to him as they used to just because his name cropped up in this case. MLAs can tolerate corruption, if they feel that someone is capable of blackmailing them, then they would prefer to stay away from such a person,” added the leader.
Another leader says that if one closely observes the developments that have taken place after the CD was released, first it appeared that Jarkiholi was set to lose the battle of perception, but within a month, it is Shivakumar who is on the losing end.
“Politics being the battle of perception, Shivakumar ought to lose his clout among fellow legislators. Many of them may not trust him anymore and they may not interact with him openly they used to do it in the past,” said a source.
Another leader said that Shivakumar had earned the reputation of a strong leader who controlled muscle power as well as money power. He proved this during the Maharastra MLA controversy in the early 2000s and with Gujarat MLAs three years ago.
“These two incidents had earned him the title of troubleshooter. But after his name cropped up in the sleaze CD saga, he is now seen as a troublemaker, as many leaders have started perceiving him as one,” explained the leader.
The leader added that as far as the Jarkiholi family is concerned, it is karma coming back to haunt them. Politics to finish off a political leader was introduced by them as early as 2000. “Soon after the Tehelka sting operation, which saw the end of BJP national president Bangaru Lakshman’s career, Karnataka too witnessed similar release of video cassettes involving then KPCC state president, V. S. Koujalgi, who was seen taking bribes. It was released by incumbent KPCC working president Satish Jarkiholi, who was with the Janata Dal (S). After the release of this video, Koujalgi was forced to resign as KPCC president but soon he made a comeback as minister in the then S. M. Krishna headed the cabinet,” the source said.
Koujalgi on his part before resigning submitted a detailed report to party high command alleging that Ramesh Jarkiholi was responsible for videographing as well as allowing his brother (Satish) to release this video.
“Though this report gathered dust, but karma has come back to haunt him in the form of the sleaze CD. That too allegedly conspired by the KPCC president. There are many similarities in both clips. Then Jarkiholi had tried to finish off a KPCC president’s career, this time it is alleged that a KPCC president is trying to finish off Jarkiholi’s career,” observed a veteran leader.