Karnataka Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi was caught up in a controversy where in he asked for sexual favours from a woman who came to him for a job. Some of the audio conversations between an unidentified woman and Ramesh Jarikholi have been playing on television channels.
A social activist, Dinesh Kalahalli contacted Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant and later a complaint was filed against the minister with the Cubbon Park police in Bengaluru. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) M N Anucheth said that, "The police are yet to register a formal case and are verifying the legitimacy of the complaint."
A senior police official said that, “We will serve him a notice asking him to furnish us details of the woman, or her relatives so that we can approach the woman and investigate the claims of harassment further."
Dinesh Kalahalli said that, "The woman didn't want to come out in public, so she had approached me. I lodged a complaint alleging the minister exploited her on the pretext of offering a job. The woman was from a poor family."
He futher added that the minister came to know that she had some CDs(Objectionable Videos) and threated her of the dire consequences if she reveals anything. The complaint reads, "Since I am into social activism, they 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."
Jarkiholi is one of the most powerful ministers from the Belagavi region of north Karnataka in the Yediyurappa-led BJP government. He is one among the 17 MLAs who joined BJP from the Congress and JD(S) last year to help BJP come to power in Karnataka. He played a prominent role in engineering defections of 17 Congress and JDS MLAs to the BJP in 2019. The videos featuring the minister has come ahead Belagavi Lok Sabha bypolls.