Former Karnataka water resources minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, who resigned on March 3 over an alleged sex tape scandal, on Tuesday (March 9) said he was innocent and that the tapes were part of “a political conspiracy” against him.
“The video and CD are fake and it is a conspiracy against me. I am innocent,” he said at a press conference. “I knew about the CD four months ago and it was discussed a couple of times with my brother [Balachandra] that I have done nothing wrong.”
Jarkiholi said the person in the video was not him. “I was informed by the high command that such allegations might be levelled against me and I was advised to take legal help. I said I will fight the allegations.”
The ex-minister alleged that the people involved in the “conspiracy” spent ₹20 crore and carried out their operation in two locations – Yeshwanthpur and Hulimavu in Bengaluru.
“I have information that the girl involved in the CD has been given ₹5 crore and two flats in foreign countries. The deal to conspire against me was conducted in the flat near Orion Mall in Yeshwanthpur. This is to tarnish my image and political career,” he said. Jarkiholi also thanked Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and former CM and JD (S) leader HD Kumaraswamy for their support.
After the video clips surfaced, RTI activist Dinesh Kallahalli approached the Bengaluru police commissioner saying Jarkiholi forced the woman seen in the videos to be intimate with him by promising her a government job. On March 7 Kallahalli approached the Cubbon Park police with a signed letter, requesting withdrawal of the complaint.
Jarkiholi has maintained all through that the video is fake. On the day the news of the scandal surfaced, Jarkiholi participated in an official meeting regarding the carrying capacity of the Tungabhadra Dam with Yediyurappa and later left for Mysuru. He later rushed back to Bengaluru and told the media the video was “fake”.