KS Eshwarappa to resign tomorrow amid row over contractor’s suicide

KS Eshwarappa to resign tomorrow amid row over contractor’s suicide

The minister’s statements come two days after Santosh Patil, a right-wing leader and a contractor was found dead in an Udupi hotel

Karnataka’s minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) KS Eshwarappa, on Thursday said that he will step down from the cabinet on Friday, claiming he does not want to “embarrass” the party and its leaders.

“Under the government led by Basavaraj Bommai, I have worked as RDPR minister till today. Today, I have made a decision that I will resign from the post of minister tomorrow (Friday),” Eshwarappa said on Thursday evening in Shivamogga, about 350 km from Bengaluru.

The minister’s statements come two days after Santosh Patil, a right-wing leader and a contractor was found dead in an Udupi hotel, blaming the minister for his decision to take his own life.

Santosh K Patil’s body was found on Tuesday morning. In a Whatsapp message on Monday night, which he shared with associates and some sections of the media, Patil had alleged that Eshwarappa is directly responsible for his death.

Patil had earlier also said that the minister was seeking 40% commission to make payments for a job undertaken by the former in February last year, adding to the piling corruption charges against the Bommai-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Karnataka.

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Patil had on March 11 written to Union ministers, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders, alleging that Eshwarappa was denying him his dues for the work carried out between February and May last year in Belagavi’s Hidalgo village.

Patil, who identified himself as the secretary of a right-wing group, Hindu Vahini, was also a member of the BJP and by his own admission, had worked for the party even in the last Belagavi Lok Sabha by-elections in April last year.

“He (Eshwarappa) spoke to me this evening. He has thought about this a lot. He said that he has complete confidence that he had no role or mistake in this. He said if he continues (as minister), it will give an opportunity for others to talk which is not needed. He said the investigation should be carried out and the truth will come out. He said he will come out clean and will not be in this position until then,” Bommai said on Thursday.

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