Former Karnataka minister Ramesh Jarkiholi on Tuesday claimed that a top leader of the state had falsely implicated him in a sex scandal, which cost him his political career and reputation, The Indian Express reported.

Jarkiholi, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader, had resigned as the state’s water resources minister on March 3 after television channels aired images and played a video of a “sex CD” allegedly featuring him and an unidentified young woman. The minister allegedly harassed the woman in return for a government job.

In his first public appearance since the scandal broke out, Jarkiholi claimed that he had been a victim of a political conspiracy to end his career and bring shame to his family. “A top leader is involved in this conspiracy,” he told reporters.

Though Jarkiholi did not reveal the identity of the person, saying it was “too early” for that, he alleged that the “big leader” and his associates were from Bengaluru. He claimed that conspiracy was hatched in the Yeshwanthpur and Orion Mall area of the city.

“We are gathering all information regarding this,” Jarkiholi said. “This has not [been] done with a political intent but with a personal intent to finish my political life. I will not rest without sending the people behind the efforts to defame me to jail.”

The former minister added that he will also seek a proper investigation into the efforts to create the purported CD along with its financing and distribution. “For me, restoring the dignity of my family is what is most important,” he said.

Jarkiholi also levelled allegations against the unidentified woman in the video, claiming that she paid him Rs 5 crore. He suggested she had close ties with the alleged conspirators, claiming that she “has been given an apartment abroad”.

The BJP leader further claimed that he was alerted about the possible existence of the video clip featuring him around four months ago, but he had brushed it aside. Three persons – one of his brothers who is in the BJP, a former MLA, and “a well-wisher in the BJP” – had alerted him, Jarkiholi said.

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