Karnataka minister KS Eshwarappa said that he will hand over his resignation to the chief minister on 15th April 2022. He is the minister of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj in the Karnataka government. His name appeared in the alleged suicide case of contractor Santhosh Patil and a case was registered against him for abetment of suicide over the death of Santhosh Patil who was a civil contractor in Udupi.
On Tuesday 12th April 2022 at the night, an FIR was registered following the complaint from Prashanth Patil, brother of Santhosh Patil. KS Eshwarappa’s staff members Ramesh and Basavraj were the other accused named in the FIR.
“Tomorrow, I am handing over the resignation letter to CM. I thank you all for your co-operation,” the minister said on Thursday evening. In the meanwhile, CM Basavaraj Bommai has said that Eshwarappa decided to resign on his own, and there was no pressure on him from the party. “There was no pressure from the high command. Also, Eshwarappa did not resign because of the pressure of the Opposition led by Congress, as is being claimed. His resignation is on his own accord,” the CM said.
CM Bommai further said, “We will conclude the investigation at the earliest and reveal the truth. He (Eshwarappa) said that he will be acquitted of all the charges and till that time he does not wish to carry on with the post. He has spoken about it in the press conference. He will meet me tomorrow evening.”
Santhosh Patil was found dead at a lodge in Udupi in a case of suspected suicide on Tuesday 12th April 2022. According to the complaint filed by Prashanth Patil, residents of Hindalaga village had called on Eshwarappa in the state capital in the year 2020-21 and requested him to lay roads, and construct stormwater drains and pavement in the hamlet.
The complaint further states that Eshwarappa gave the nod to start work and assured that the budget will be allotted to the work. The contract for the work was awarded to Santhosh Patil who took the work worth Rs. 4 crores in the village and the bills for his invested money were pending.
Prashanth Patil’s complaint alleges that Santhosh Patil had visited minister KS Eshwarappa several times and requested him to release the bills but the minister’s close aides Basavraj and Ramesh demanded him 40 percent commission.
Santhosh Patil’s alleged suicide note was shared with the media. It reads, “I am going on a journey of no return. Panchayat Raj Minister K S Eshwarappa is directly responsible for my death, and he should be punished. I have taken this decision after suppressing all my wants and desires. I have brought some friends with me, after lying to them that we are going on a picnic. But they are not responsible for my death. I thank all my friends, I also thank the journalists for highlighting my problems.”
It further states, “I request Mr. Yediyurappa, a senior leader of the Lingayat community, and anyone who can help my family, to help them out.”
BJP spokesperson Vijay Prasad said while speaking to CNN News18, “It is the ethics that matter. Having said that, whatever things we are maintaining as a party will still go on. Eshwarappa is a tall leader. He does not want to put his party in any kind of embarrassing situation.”