The Legislative Council election race got hotter in Belagavi after Independent candidate Lakhan Jarkiholi refused to withdraw his nomination papers despite pressure from some quarters.
His followers claimed he was under tremendous pressure from BJP leaders and some Congress leaders. “All are worried that he will cut into their votes,” said Mallappa Udachan, a follower of Mr. Lakhan Jarkiholi.
“A member of the Jarkiholi family told the BJP leadership that the candidature of Mr. Lakhan Jarkiholi was vital for two reasons. It would decide the future of the Gokak clan in district politics and that it was the only chance to counter the rising clout of Lingayat leadership in northern Karnataka. It was also pointed out that the family was under the impression that the BJP leadership was not extending enough support to Ramesh Jarkiholi, after his resignation as a Minister,” a source close to the family said.