KS Eshwarappa is the main accused in the death of contractor and BJP member Santhosh Patil who had accused the BJP minister of corruption.

KS Eshwarappa resigns as Karnataka Minister
news Politics Thursday, April 14, 2022 - 18:40

KS Eshwarappa announced that he will step down as Karnataka’s Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Minister, days after a BJP member, who had accused him of corruption, was found dead. Santhosh Patil, a BJP member and contractor, was found dead in a hotel in Udupi, weeks after he had levelled bribery charges against the senior Karnataka Minister. Police investigating Santhosh’s death have named Eshwarappa as the first accused in the FIR. The case was registered based on a complaint from Prashanth Patil, a relative of Santhosh.

Eshwarappa, who had till a day ago said that he will not be stepping down, called for a sudden press conference on Thursday, April 14. Addressing the media in Shivamogga, he announced that he will be going to Bengaluru on Friday to submit his resignation. 

“Under Chief Minister Bommai's leadership, I have worked as RDPR minister so far. But I have decided today that I am resigning from my position as minister,” Eshwarappa said, adding that he will hand in his resignation letter on Friday.  “Even if I have done 1% wrong, I pray to god to punish me. I have full faith that I will walk free from this episode. I have informed the Chief Minister that an investigation should happen and he has agreed,” he told reporters on Thursday. 

Eshwarappa’s decision comes in the wake of the Udupi police booking him in connection with the death of Santosh Patil, a BJP member and contractor from Belagavi, who had accused Eshwarappa’s department of failing to pay for development work worth Rs 4 crore in Hindalaga village in Belagavi district. 

The Opposition Congress had demanded Eshwarappa’s resignation following the death of Santosh Patil. Speaking to reporters on Thursday evening, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President DK Shivakumar said that Eshwarappa should be booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act. "Resignation is not enough, he should be arrested so that Santhosh's family gets justice. The allegations made by contractors' association should be probed by a magistrate," DK Shivakumar said, adding that the government should announce Rs 1 crore compensation to the deceased contractor's family and a government job for his wife.

Also read: 'Santhosh not with us because of Eshwarappa': Karnataka contractor's kin seeks justice

Eshwarappa, a senior leader in the state BJP unit is from the Kuruba community, the same community as former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. In the last two months, he has faced allegations of bribery from Santhosh Patil, a BJP member and a contractor from Belagavi. Santhosh's family has contended that he was not paid for works worth Rs 4 crore in Hindalaga village in Belagavi. Santhosh had invested his money in the project and the bill for the work was pending. Family members said that Santhosh had visited minister Eshwarappa several times and had pleaded with him to release the amount. But his close aides Basavaraj and Ramesh were demanding 40% commission, the complaint by the family alleged.

Also read:  Voted BJP for change, now we pay 40% cut as bribe: Karnataka contractors are upset

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.