Karnataka BJP minister caught in ‘sex for job’ scandal resigns

Ramesh Jarkiholi

Karnataka Water Resources Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politician Ramesh Jarkiholi Wednesday submitted his resignation to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa following allegations of sexual harassment against him.

The resignation came after a CD purportedly showing minister seeking sexual favours from a woman emerged on Tuesday.

Jarkiholi had enticed the unidentified woman in the video clip with the offer of a government job. Several Kannada television channels aired images and photos from the ‘sex for job CD’ that featured him in a compromising position with the woman. There was also an intimate audio conversation between the two. During the conversation, the saffron party’s leader is heard luring the woman with a government job and admonishing her not to speak loudly since it is Karnataka Bhavan in Delhi.

Dinesh Kallahalli, a social activist, had on Tuesday lodged a police complaint against Jarkiholi, alleging that he sexually harassed the woman and threatened her and her family of dire consequences. Kallahalli claimed he was authorised by the woman to file the complaint as she did not want to make her identity public.

Police will inquire into the allegations of sexual harassment against Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi based on the complaint, Karnataka Home Minister Basavraj Bommai said on Wednesday, even as opposition Congress demanded for his immediate resignation and registration of FIR.

The BJP leader maintained that the allegations were fake but said he was quitting on moral grounds.

“The allegations are far from the truth. There should be an immediate investigation into this. I believe that I am innocent but I resign on moral grounds. Kindly accept my resignation,” he wrote in a letter.