The CD case is getting Seedier in India’s Silicon Valley. A month after the leakage of a CD led to the ignominious exit of a top minister Ramesh Jharkiholi, the whole drama is still unfolding, leading Karnataka politics to an unprecedented chaos. It has now pitted wounded and humiliated Jharkiholi against his old foe, State Congress president DK Shivakumar. Both have sounded a war bugle triggering, panic in both ruling BJP and the opposition Congress camps.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT), formed to probe the seedy affairs of the political leaders is still groping in the dark with little success. The alleged mastermind is still on the run and the purported victim, a girl in her 20s has so far released five videos accusing Jharkiholi of sexually abusing her on the promise of a job. She has even sought protection. Her parents have complicated the matters by blaming DK Shivakumar for the whole incident. They claim that he has used their “innocent” daughter to honeytrap Jharkiholi to settle personal scores with his former colleague.
From outrightly dismissing it as a morphed CD to almost admitting to the act, as a honeytrap or consensual sex, Jharkiholi has unwittingly strengthened the case against him.
DK Shivakumar has maintained in the public that he has nothing to do with the CD and the alleged mastermind Naresh Gowda had met him in his journalistic capacity. However, people aware of the developments feel that finally it may lead the sleuths to DKS’ house.
The State Congress which made it a major issue is now caught in a dilemma. Not sure of its ramifications, some top leaders have softened their attack.
The claims and counter claims flying all over while changing the narrative almost on a daily basis, the incident has become a theatre of the absurd.
The first claim in the incident was that the Water Resources minister Ramesh Jharkiholi had sex with the purported victim promising her a job.
The counter claim that followed was the girl was sent to honey trap him and she is not a victim. Fingers were then pointed at Shivakumar.
The second claim was that the incident was the work of professional blackmailers and extortionists for money. The counterclaim was that they had taken Supari from a top opposition leader to fix Jharkiholi.
The third claims was that the CD is fake and it is not Jharkiholi. However, the counter claim was that it is indeed Jharkiholi. But the purported victim is different or morphed.
These changing claims have led the investigation in many directions almost damaging the whole case.
The related developments have also kept the entire state entertained. After Jharkiholi quit owing “moral” responsibility, five of his Cabinet colleagues went to court asking the media not to air or publish anything defamatory against them giving enough indications of an alleged wrong doing. The opposition parties had stalled the recently concluded State legislature session demanding their resignations.
Dr K Sudhakar, Health and Medical Education Minister, one of the ministers who has obtained a gag order made a bizarre remark saying that all 225 MLAs in the State should take a monogamy test. His crass remarks have led to a deluge of protests isolating him in the government and politics.
The opposition is interpreting his comments as an admission of the guilt. They are even demanding that someone should get the gag order scrapped and the CDs of these ministers should also be released.
Incidentally, all the Six ministers including Jharkiholi are from the Congress and JDS (one minister), who crossed over to the BJP toppling the HD Kumaraswamy led JDS – Congress coalition in July 2019.
The original BJP MLAs, MLCs and ministers who are not happy with the outsiders cornering all plum portfolios are not enthusiastic to defend them worsening the situation. The Home Minister Basavaraj S Bommai has added fuel to the fire by claiming that he is aware of the existence of CDs of 19 ministers and political leaders causing panic in the ruling camp.
The embattled Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa is worried about the image of his 20-month-old government. He is keeping a close watch on the unfolding events. His bête noire and senior BJP MLA Basanagouda R Patil Yatnal has dropped a bombshell claiming that there is a CD of the CM, which the BJP has dismissed as utterances of a man who has personal issues with the government.