Bengaluru: The B.S. Yediyurappa-led Karnataka government found itself in a controversy Tuesday with a new sex scandal, allegedly involving Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, coming to light in the state.
A ‘sex CD’ allegedly featuring the minister has surfaced and a complaint filed with the police.
This comes just over a month after Congress leader Prakash Rathod was allegedly found browsing through obscene clips on his mobile phone when the state’s Legislative Council was in session.
In the Jarkiholi case, the Central Division of Bengaluru Police registered a complaint filed by social activist Dinesh Kalahalli, who alleged that sexual favours were sought from the woman in the video by the minister in exchange for a job opportunity.
Police sources said they are investigating the veracity of the CD, and that it is not yet known when it was shot.
However, since the woman has not come forward to register a complaint, efforts are being made to get an official statement from her, they said.
According to Kalahalli’s complaint, seen by ThePrint, he approached the police on behalf of the woman who “belonged to an economically backward family”. He alleged that Jarkiholi had promised her a job in the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited, and said he met Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant as it was a “sensitive case involving a powerful minister”.
ThePrint tried to contact Kalahalli through calls and text messages but he was not available for a comment.
In his complaint to the police, he said: “Since I am into social activism, they (the woman’s family) approached me with the complaint and the CD and shared all the details. Please investigate the truth of the matter, file a criminal case against the minister and provide protection to the victim.”
Union Minister for Coals and Mines Pralhad Joshi, Karnataka Industries Minister Jagdish Shettar and Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai denied knowledge of the incident or the alleged sex CD.
BJP spokesperson Ganesh Karnik said the party will take appropriate action after the investigation is complete. “Law will take its course,” he said.
Not the first time in Karnataka
This is not the first time that a Karnataka politician’s name has featured in a sex scandal.
In 2012, three BJP ministers Laxman Savadi, Krishna Palemar and C.C. Patil were caught on camera watching phonographic clips inside the House. Savadi is currently a Deputy Chief Minister and Patil is the minister for small-scale industries.
Congress leader H.Y. Meti, BJP MLA Renukacharya who is now political secretary to Yediyurappa, and BJP’s S.A. Ramdas have also been allegedly accused of seeking sexual favours in the past.
Jarkiholi, who was with the Congress earlier, is now a powerful BJP minister from Belagavi in north Karnataka. He is among four brothers active in Karnataka politics from the region.