We will take a strong decision, says Ramesh Jarkiholi

Hubballi: The row over the PLD bank election in Belagavi turned serious on Thursday with minister Ramesh Jarkiholi warning  the state government that he and his brother, Satish would take a “strong decision” if candidates loyal to state Congress women’s wing president, Laxmi Hebbalkar won the poll on Friday.  The minister also abruptly transferred taluk panchayat executive officer S K Patil after calling an unscheduled meeting of all panchayat development officers of the Belagavi rural Assembly constituency that Ms Hebbalkar represents, sending a strong warning to all panchayat officials against following her diktats.

While Mr Jarkiholi alleged that she had hijacked the bank directors using money power before the election, an undeterred Ms Hebbalkar, who is trying to get her loyalists elected as president and vice-president of the bank, continued to claim she had the support of nine of the banks 14 directors. Sources say she also has the backing of Lingayat and Maratha leaders, who are against the Jarkiholi brothers and is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the victory of her loyalists despite the efforts of the party top brass to dissuade her. 

“Laxmi Hebbalkar owes us ( Jarkiholi brothers) for helping her in her political career and her family financially when she was living in a slummy locality.  Her godfather (D K Shivakumar) did not come to her rescue at the time. Now, she has lodged bank directors in her home, offering them Rs 2 lakh before the polls, although they are loyal to us. We cannot play politics using money power all the time. People will give her a befitting reply in  future,” Mr Jarkiholi said.  Some party insiders claim the brothers are being tutored in their strategy on the PLD bank poll by  former CM  Siddaramaiah from Europe where he is on a tour.

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