Case filed against Karnataka minster after contractor’s suicide note says he is ‘solely responsible’

Meanwhile, K S Eshwarappa offered to resign after Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai summoned him.

K S Eshwarappa (File Photo)

Bengaluru: Moments after a contractor, who had levelled corruption charges against Karnataka minister of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj K S Eshwarappa, was found dead at a lodge in Karnataka’s Udupi district, the police booked the minister and his two aides for abetment to suicide after the contractor’s brother filed an FIR.

The contractor, Santosh Patil, had accused the minister’s associates of demanding a 40% commission in the Rs 4 crore work he had carried out for the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj department. On Monday, Patil was found dead at a lodge and the police prima facie suspect he died by suicide.

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In his purported suicide note, reportedly forwarded to his friends on WhatsApp, said, “RDPR minister KS Eshwarappa is solely responsible for my death. I am taking this decision, keeping my aspirations aside. I request with folded hands to our prime minister, chief minister, our beloved lingayat leader BSY and everybody else to extend a helping hand to my wife and kids.”

Meanwhile, Eshwarappa offered to resign after Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai summoned him. Speaking to the media, Bommai said he will ensure an impartial probe into the matter from all angles. “Yes, FIR registered (against KS Eswarappa over the death of contractor Santosh Patil). I have gathered all info and will speak with Eshwarappa. I don’t know what he (Eshwarappa) said (about resignation). It will be cleared when we speak directly,” the Karnataka CM told ANI.

Meanwhile, cashing in on the incident, a Congress delegation, including D K Shivakumar and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, submitted a letter to Karnataka Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot and demanded the ouster of Eshwarappa.

Speaking to the media, Shivakumar said, “We have appealed to the Governor to dismiss K S Eshwarappa, get him arrested…Secondly, a corruption case should be registered against him given that he would seek 40% commission from his own people, including contractor Santosh Patil.”

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