Santosh K Patil said that he was hired for civil works worth Rs 4 crore in February 2021, but his bills have not been cleared as he allegedly did not pay a cut to Eshwarappa.

File photo of KS EshwarappaFile photo of KS Eshwarappa
news Controversy Wednesday, March 30, 2022 - 09:01

After allegations of corruption surfaced against Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister KS Eshwarappa, he claimed a conspiracy behind the issue. He added that he had filed a defamation complaint against Santosh Patil, the complainant in the case, on March 10. Eshwarappa’s statement came hours after his Union government counterpart Giriraj Singh sought a clarification on the issue. The allegation was levelled by Santosh K Patil, a contractor in Belagavi and a member of the Hindu Vahini. According to him, he was hired for the construction of over 100 roads, worth Rs 4 crore, in Belagavi in February 2021. However, his bills have still not been cleared as he allegedly did not pay a cut to Eshwarappa.

Patil had written to Giriraj Singh, as well as to Prime Minister Modi, about the issue. On Tuesday, March 29, Eshwarappa said that Union Minister Giriraj Singh has written to Additional Chief Secretary of the RDPR department LK Ateeq in this regard asking for clarification. Eshwarappa replied claiming that no sanction or approval was given for the road construction, and that works undertaken by Patil were not implemented through the government. Hence, raising any funds to the said project does not arise, Eshwarappa said.

"I don't know the complainant Santhosh K Patil. I think there is a conspiracy behind it. He is writing letters to all major Union government leaders including Home Minister Amit Shah. I will tell the Congress leaders who are questioning on the issue, that the work order has not been issued and there is no question of releasing grants," he said. "I have initiated contempt proceedings against complainant Santhosh K Patil and my advocate will serve notice to him on Wednesday," he added.

Meanwhile, Patil alleged that he has been receiving threatening calls since he wrote to PM Modi about the alleged corruption. He also alleged that Eshwarappa was harassing him through hired goons, and he told The Hindu that he has paid the minister over Rs 15 lakh in bribes till date. He further claimed that five more contractors who completed civil works in the Hindalakote region of Belagavi have not been paid by the government.

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