Eshwar Khandre lulls Laxmi Hebbalkar storm, but Jarkiholis still angry

Hubballi: It could well be the lull before the storm in the state unit of Congress as state women's wing president Laxmi Hebbalkar managed to ensure the victory of candidates backed by her in polls to various posts in Primary Land Development (PLD) bank in Belagavi much to the chagrin of the powerful Jarkiholi brothers on Friday.

The infighting in Belagavi unit of Congress was checked by KPCC working president, Eshwar Khandre, who ensured that Mr Mahadev Patil and Mr Babusahed Jamadar, both supported by Mrs Hebbalkar, were elected unopposed as president and vice president respectively on Friday. Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, who had threatened of action against the state government if her loyalists won the poll, left for "a  darshan of goddess Mahalaxmi" to Kolhapur in Maharashtra. 

The minister, however, could retaliate at a later stage to diminish the growing influence of Mrs Hebbalkar who has the support of water resources minister D K Shivakumar. Alternately, his sibling Mr Satish Jarkiholi could be placated with a cabinet berth in the expansion
scheduled later this month.   

But in a token protest, supporters of the Jarkiholi brothers raised slogans against Mrs Hebbalkar. Mr Khandre had rushed to Belagavi from Bengaluru after infighting grew serious in the hours preceding the PLD bank elections and met both Mrs Hebbalkar and Mr Satish Jarkiholi to broker a truce. 

The latter reportedly relented after Mrs Hebbalkar agreed to replace her candidate, Bapugouda Patil for the post of PLD bank president. Ramesh Jarkiholi reportedly had the knives out for Mr Patil as he had switched his loyalty from the Jarkiholis to Ms Hebbalkar a few years ago. 

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