Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday said the BJP’s central leadership was ”positive” about the re-induction of sulking ex-ministers KS Eshwarappa and Ramesh Jarkiholi in the state cabinet, even as the duo skipping the ongoing Assembly session has embarrassed the ruling party. The two had earlier resigned as ministers–Eshwarappa over allegations of bribery and Jarkiholi over a sex scandal but the probe agencies investigating into the respective cases had given them clean chits.
Eshwarappa, a former deputy CM and ex-state party President, said Bommai has assured them of cabinet berths soon.
He had resigned as Minister earlier this year after a contractor allegedly committed suicide accusing him of demanding 40 percent commission in a public work contract in 2020. Stating they have been given ”clean chit” by police in those cases, the two leaders had been demanding that they be made ministers again. Eshwarappa, BJP’s Shivamogga MLA and Jarkiholi (Gokak) have been conspicuous by their absence in the Assembly session that commenced on Monday in Belagavi in north Karnataka. Eshwarappa had said he would not attend the Assembly session until he is made a Minister.
On Tuesday, Bommai said he was in touch with Jarkiholi and Eshwarappa. Their non-participation in the assembly is not boycott. ”They are right in their thinking that they must return to the Council of Ministers once they were cleared of all the charges,” Bommai told reporters in Belagavi.
During his recent visit to Delhi, the party high command discussed the matter related to Eshwarappa and Jarkiholi, Bommai said.
”They (party leadership) are also positive about their induction but certain things cannot be told in public,” the chief minister added.
Meanwhile, Eshwarappa said Bommai has assured them Cabinet berth soon.
”The chief minister has assured me he will speak to the party high command and induct me in the cabinet after I got a clean chit,” he told reporters in Bengaluru.
”Not only me but Ramesh Jarkiholi also will be made a minister because he too got a clean chit,” Eshwarappa added.
Asked if he would attend the assembly session after the assurance by Bommai, Eshwarappa said, ”I will speak to the chief minister in the evening before taking any decision”. PTI