Karnataka Congress In-charge Venugopal busy firefighting family feuds
Leaders of the All India Congress Committee who are in Bengaluru to solve dissidence in the party are being pushed to settle family feuds. K C Venugopal, the in-charge general secretary and his team are having a harrowing time settling differences between brothers of Lad and Jarkiholi families that are affected Congress in Ballari and Belagavi respectively.
The Karnataka Congress is holding marathon review and consultation meetings with senior leaders of the AICC to plan their strategy for the upcoming 2018 assembly elections. While choosing the KPCC president is a key agenda of the meeting, sorting differences that have divided the party on many levels is also a prime concern. K C Venugopal who is trying to sort out differences within the party was witness to a full-blown argument between Satish and Ramesh Jarkiholi in one of the meetings. The argument was a mere peek into the rot running deep between the politician brothers that was adversely affecting the Congress.
Lad and Jarkiholi brothers' infighting proves costly for Congress
A heated argument broke out between Karnataka Small Scale Industries minister Ramesh Jarkiholi and his brother, former Minister Satish Jarkiholi. Even as AICC office bearers including K C Venugopal looked on, the sibling engaged in a bitter verbal duel. The fight came as a major embarrassment to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and KPCC chief G Parameshwara. Satish who was dropped from the cabinet in last year's reshuffle was unhappy with Ramesh wanting to field their younger brother Lakhan Jarkiholi from Yamakanamaradi in Belagavi district. The seat is currently represented by Satish. Unhappy over the developments Satish Jarkiholi even spoke to Rahul Gandhi and threatened to quit the party if his demands are not met. Siddaramaiah is even said to have told Venugopal that the Congress lost the Belagavi mayoral elections thanks to the infighting within the Jarkoholi family.
The discomfort between the Lad brothers of Ballari is quite popular in the party. The siblings' squabble has made Congress the ultimate loser in Ballari and Belagavi. The party had won 4 seats in Ballari in the 2013 assembly elections but it is not going to be easy this time around. The infighting in the Lad family has dented the party's image in Ballari that shot to infamy for illegal mining. Labour minister Santosh Lad has been pulled up by visiting AICC members and asked to sort out differences with his brother Anil Lad.
Even as Congress and its leaders are busy in fighting amongst themselves, the BJP is emerging strong in Ballari. Sriramulu who returned to the BJP is now very active in the district. With the support of Reddy brothers, Sriramulu is making good the loss that BJP had to face in the district after its leaders were indicted in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining. In Belagavi, the BJP, as well as the MNS, are moving ahead with the Congress busy sorting differences within families and in between siblings.
Fighting the family feuds
K C Venugopal who returned to Bengaluru to gather consensus and sort out differences has asked the Jarkiholi and Lad families to buck up. The brothers have been warned to sort out differences and work for the party. While Santosh Lad who is also the district in-charge minister in Ballari has been asked to speak to his brother, Venugopal has also agreed to meet the brothers separately. The meeting will take place once Anil Lad returns from his foreign trip. In an attempt to sort the differences in the Jarkiholi family, Venugopal has assigned Satish Jarkiholi to take control of party affairs in Belagavi. His brother, Ramesh would be in charge of creating awareness about government schemes in the district.