I may have changed party, but Siddaramaiah is still my guru: Ramesh Jarkiholi


Team Udayavani, Dec 14, 2019, 11:06 AM IST

Bengaluru: Newly elected BJP legislators Ramesh Jarkiholi and BC Patil, who were earlier disqualified from the Congress, on Friday met their former leader and ex-Chief Minister Siddaramaiah separately at a private hospital here, where he underwent angioplasty.

While Jarkiholi called Siddramaiah his “guru”, Patil described him as “former leader.”

“I had come to inquire about his (Siddaramaiah) health, he is doing fine and is healthy and will be discharged tomorrow evening. Whatever is said and done, he is our leader, he is doing good,” Jarkiholi told reporters after meeting Siddaramaiah.

He declined to divulge what transpired between them.

“I cannot say all those things, he is my guru, not today, I have been saying it for long that he is my leader. I may have changed the party, but he is still my leader,” Jarkiholi said.

Ruling out any political discussions during the meeting, Patil said “one can change home, but not the heart. Just because we left the party, human relationships should not go.”

I got to know that our former leader and former chief minister has undergone heart treatment. I have come to see him and wish him speedy recovery.”

This was their first meeting with the Congress leader after their disqualification from the party and re-election on BJP ticket.

Jarkiholi and Patil were disqualified by the then assembly speaker as MLAs on a petition moved by Siddaramaiah as Congress legislature party leader, accusing them of anti-party activity.

Both of them had subsequently joined the BJP, and contested and won from their respective assembly segments of Gokak and Hirekerur in the December 5 assembly bypolls.

Another disqualified MLA R Shankar, who did not contest the bypolls, also met Siddaramaiah.

He said the Congress leader was doing fine and he wished his speedy recovery.

Shankar, who had won the 2018 assembly polls on KPJP ticket from Ranebennur constituency, later merged his party with the Congress after becoming a minister in the coalition government.

He was subsequently disqualified on the Congress’ petition on grounds of anti-party activity as he joined the rebels, who brought down the coalition government.

Those who met Siddaramaiah on Friday included newly elected BJP MLA from K R Pete Narayana Gowda, who was disqualified from the JD(S) for joining the rebels.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and BJP ministers K S Eshwarappa and Basavaraj Bommai had visited Siddaramaiah at the hospital on Thursday evening.

The 71-year-old leader, who underwent angioplasty on December 11, is likely to be discharged from the hospital on Saturday, sources close to him said.

Siddaramaiah had quit as Congress Legislature Party leader on Monday after the party posted a poor show, winning only two seats, as against the 12 it had held of the 15 which went to the bypolls.

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