BJP attempting to shut sleaze CD case, says Shivakumar

Bengaluru, March 28 (IANS) Amid claims and counter-claims, Congress’ Karnataka unit chief D.K. Shivakumar on Sunday alleged that attempts were made to shut the sleaze CD case against former state minister Ramesh Jarkiholi.

“Attempts are being made by the ruling party (BJP) and its government to close the sleaze CD case against Ramesh, whom the victim had accused of sexually exploiting her when she approached him for a job,” Shivakumar told reporters.

The state government on March 11 set up a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the sensational case, which had forced Jarkiholi to resign on March 3 – a day after the sleaze CD was aired on local news channels.

Though the SIT, headed by Additional Director General of Police Soumendhu Mukherjee served notice five times on the elusive woman to depose before it in the case, her father and brother appeared before it on Saturday and blamed Shivakumar for the sex scandal.

But the Congress leader dismissed the allegations.

“I am not bothered over who says what about me or against me. Let the government do what it wants. But the state police should probe the case impartially,” he said.

On the victim’s parents accusing him of involving their daughter in the sleaze case, Shivakumar retorted that the woman had claimed that her parents were forced to make such statements and they were not aware of the facts.

“The woman made a statement through a video clip after her parents told the media that they had informed the SIT that I was behind the sleaze CD though I have nothing to do with it and did not meet her (victim),” he said.

In a related development, supporters of Jarkiholi, who was one of the Congress legislators who had defected and helped to bring down the JD-S-Congress coalition government in 2019, protested against Shivakumar and burnt his effigy at Belgaum after he flew there on Sunday evening to campaign for the party’s candidate in the April 17 Lok Sabha by-election.

Hundreds of Jarkiholi supporters also attacked Shivakumar’s convoy, smashed the windshield of the car in which he was travelling, waved black flags and shouted “DKS go back”.

Incidentally, the Congress fielded its state unit’s Working President Satish Jarkiholi, Jarkiholi’s younger brother, as its candidate for the Belgaum parliamentary by-election.

The BJP nominated Mangala, widow of former Minister of State for Railways and four time MP Suresh Angadi, whose death on September 23, 2020 due to Covid caused the vacancy.

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