Former Karnataka Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi who resigned after allegations of sexual exploitation.
Former Karnataka Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi who resigned after allegations of sexual exploitation.

BJP MLA backs Ramesh Jarkiholi, say it is a case of blackmail, conspiracy

  • Ramesh Jarkiholi resigned from the Karnataka cabinet demanding an investigation
By Sharan Poovanna
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:10 AM IST

MP Renukacharya, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator and chief minister B.S Yediyurappa’s political secretary, on Friday said the allegation of sexual exploitation against former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi was a case of “blackmail and political conspiracy”.

Speaking to reporters outside the Vidhan Soudha in Bengaluru on Friday, Renukacharya said, “She (the unidentified woman in the case) is not a victim. This is a conspiracy.”

Jarkiholi, who resigned from the cabinet demanding an investigation, has been given an injunction against publishing any material related to the incident.

“This is neither a sexual harassment nor a rape case...,” said Renukacharya, who himself was accused of sexual harassment by a nurse in 2007.

The statements from the MLA came even before the investigation in the case could begin, as police said they are trying to get details on the unnamed woman to verify the complaint.

Case filed by ministers?

A case was filed by six people on Friday at the city civil court in Bengaluru under the names of six cabinet ministers of the Karnataka government.

Though the six names are of incumbent ministers, it remains unclear if the ministers moved the cases on their own or if any other persons did.

All six have moved the court in what appears to be a move to restrict the media from publishing or broadcasting defamatory content against them.

The six persons whose names are listed as petitioners include Shivaram Hebbar, Dr K Sudhakar, Byrathi Basavaraj, B.C Patil, ST Somashekar and Narayana Gowda, according to the original suit filed at the Additional City Civil and Sessions Judges in Mayo Hall in Bengaluru. All six ministers who have been named as petitioners could not be reached for comment and text messages seeking a response went unanswered.

The filing of the case comes days after their ministerial colleague, Ramesh Jarkiholi, was forced to resign from B.S.Yediyurappa-led cabinet after a complaint of alleged sexual exploitation was filed against him.

The case has 68 defendants, including all major Kannada and English TV news channels, newspapers among others. The list of defendants also includes Google and other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Hindustan Times has viewed the copy of the case that has been filed even though there is no clear mention of the exact prayer sought by the petitioners.

The names of the petitioners are of the six out of the 17 who had helped the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) form the government by defecting the H. D.Kumaraswamy-led Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S)-Congress coalition government in 2019.

Jarkiholi, considered the catalyst of the defection drama, had also helped others to jump ship to the BJP that brought Yediyurappa to power. After the allegations on Jarkiholi, there were unverified reports of similar videos and other sex scandals against other cabinet ministers.

The case has been posted for orders on Saturday.

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