Former state water resources minister, Ramesh Jarkiholi, 60, who was forced to resign following allegations of sexual harassment involving a woman job aspirant, earlier this week, claimed today that the charges against him were politically motivated.
He told newsmen here that the plot against him was hatched four months ago in the state capital; even claiming that a “big leader” was behind the conspiracy to finish him off politically. “I knew about the compact disks four months ago. Had discussed the issue with my brother,Balachandra Jarkiholi. I have done nothing wrong. This is not me at all,” he asserted . He went on to claim that the unidentified woman in the clips was offered over Rs 5 crore.
Significantly, his family members had also claimed earlier that the former minister was a victim of a plot and the video clips concerned were originally released from Russia. They had even alleged that the conspirators had spent over Rs 20 crore to embarrass the powerful MLA from Gokak.
The former minister’s claims add to the twists and turns that the case has been witnessing. Social activist, Dinesh Kallahali, who had lodged the complaint against him at a local police station, had even sought to withdraw it. The activist had alleged that the unidentified woman in the video was exploited with her family also facing repeated harassment now. The video clips were also shown on some local television channels, leading to Opposition members mounting an attack on BJP government.
CM B S Yediyurappa and the BJP central leadership had put pressure on Jarkiholi to resign ,if only to protect the image of the party while assuring him of all possible help in finding out the truth behind the controversial clips.
While expressing gratitude to Yediyurappa and former CM and JDS leader, H D Kumaraswamy, Jarkiholi said they stood by him in difficult times.
Vowing to nail the conspirators he said that they would not be spared as his family’s honour had been damaged.