They stood for each other in every critical situation, and there was no room for misunderstanding between the brothers. But then, as they say, politics is a game of compromise. The two loving brothers of the Jarkiholi family now stand pitted against each other in the poll fray.
With Ramesh and Bhimashi taking on each other from Gokak segment in Belgaum district, the family of five brothers is set to taste defeat for the first time in two decades.
While elder brother Ramesh is contesting the assembly election on a Congress ticket, Bhimashi has been successful in getting a BJP ticket.
Ramesh has been in politics since 1985 when, for the first time, he contested and lost to his Janata Dal rival. But that was the only defeat the Jarkiholi has ever faced.
The third brother in the family, Satish Jarkiholi (a sitting MLC) is also contesting on a Congress ticket from the neighbouring Yamakanamadi constituency, while the fourth one, Bhalchandra (a sitting MLA) is trying his luck with the JD(S) ticket from Arbhavi assembly segment.
The youngest of all, Lakhan, too tried to get a Congress ticket, but was advised to take back his claim to avoid further split in the family, party sources said.
The Jarkiholi is known as a big industrialist family with sound political connections. But now, fighting from different parties, the families the brothers too, have become divided.
Their initial campaign has been restricted to issues, but political observers feel that soon it will get personal.