In a purported message sent to his friends, Santhosh had accused the Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister of being the “sole cause” of his death.

Deceased contractor Santhosh Patil's cousin Prashant PatilTwitter: Shreyas HS
news Controversy Tuesday, April 12, 2022 - 16:10

After the death of contractor Santhosh, who had earlier levelled allegations of corruption against KS Eshwarappa, his family has demanded that the Karnataka minister be arrested. Santhosh was found dead at a lodge in Udupi on Tuesday, April 12, and the police suspect suicide. In a purported message sent to his friends, Santhosh had accused the Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister of being the “sole cause” of his death.

Speaking to TNM, Prashanth Patil, Santhosh’s cousin said, “It is evident, the work he carried out at Hindalga panchayat. He was in contact with Eshwarappa himself who had come there. But no payment came through and I don't know what the conversations were between them. We will be filing a complaint soon.”

“I don't know where he went the last two days. I could not get through to him over the phone. I saw that it was viral in the media — about his allegations and him missing. But his phone was busy and we didn't get through. The family is crying. The man was doing contract work. If the money doesn't come, what does it mean for the state of his mind? It is due to Eshwarappa that he is not with us today. How would anyone feel at that point? Check what all work he has done in Hindalga,” Prashant added.

Appearing before the media earlier as the news broke out, Prashant said, “KS Eshwarappa needs to be arrested. Until this is done, we won't cremate him (Santhosh), we won't do anything. Justice needs to be ensured.” Santhosh, who had received a contract to construct roads in Belagavi worth Rs 4 crore, had alleged that the minister asked for a 40% cut. However, over two years later, Santhosh’s bills were still not cleared, as he allegedly did not pay the bribe.

“Eshwarappa has asked for 40% commission on this, there is proof. I just want to say this — Eshwarappa must be arrested and justice should be brought to my brother,” Prashant told the media. “The work was legitimate, it was for the Hindalga panchayat. It was a Rs 4 crore project, we haven't gotten a bill for even a rupee. Eshwarappa says he doesn't even know who Santhosh Patil is,” a bereaved Prashant said. 

After the corruption allegation came to the fore, Eshwarappa had claimed he did not know Santhosh, and later slapped a defamation suit against him. Responding to news of Santhosh’s death on Tuesday, the minister said, “It is clear that there is no mistake committed from our end and that is why a notice had been served to him. And right after that, he has killed himself. I am learning it through the media. I went to court because I was being defamed. He should have faced it legally. I have nothing to do with his death,” he added. I have no connection with his death so I will not resign, Eshwarappa further said.

Read: Eshwarappa brazens it out after contractor's death, says not my fault

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