KS Eshwarappa, former Karnataka minister, cleared in contractor suicide case


NEW DELHI: Former Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister KS Eshwarappa, who was named by a contractor in his suicide note, was reportedly cleared after a thorough probe into the matter by the state’s police. The Karnataka BJP leader, who had resigned as Rural Development and Panchayat Raj minister after the controversy over contractor Santosh Patil’s suicide note in which he had accused the minister of charging 40 per cent commission on public work, said the police have come up with a B-Report (closure report) absolving him of any wrongdoing.

The ruling party legislator said he knew from the day when the incident happened that he will be absolved of the charges. “Today, the police have come up with a B-Report in the (contractor) Santosh Patil suicide. I have come out clean in the report. Police have said that I have no role in it, which is a matter of joy for me,” Eshwarappa told reporters.

“I had said the same day when the incident happened that there is not even one per cent connection between me and the suicide of the contractor and, I will overcome this.

“I had faith in my family goddess Chowdeshwari Devi that if I am wrong the Mother Goddess will punish me or else I will come out clean. Today by the grace of Chowdeshwari Devi, I am absolved,” the Shivamogga MLA said.

Eshwarappa said the BJP central and state-level leaders felt embarrassed because of this case and after the police gave him a clean chit, he felt content that those leaders have come out of the embarrassment.

To a query whether he would be made a minister in the state cabinet again, Eshwarappa said it is left to the BJP high command and seniors in the party, and that he would stick to their decision. He said former chief minister B S Yediyurappa spoke to him over the phone and greeted him for the police coming up with a B-Report in the contractor suicide case.

Eshwarappa said he was hurt by unwanted accusations made against him but now he felt content following the closure report. “Being in politics, we have to face such charges otherwise we should not join public life. I was sure that I will come out clean. I don’t know who was behind this incident,” Eshwarappa said.

Santosh Patil from Belagavi district had died by suicide in a hotel room in Udupi on April 12 accusing the minister and his close aide of allegedly charging 40 per cent commission on a Rs 4 crore-worth public work carried out in Hindalga village of Belagavi in 2020 ahead of a village fair.

Reacting to the closure report, Congress state president D K Shivakumar said at the time of the investigation itself, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Home Minister Araga Jnanendra had given a certificate that Eshwarappa will come out clean.

“When the Chief Minister and Home Minister said at the time of investigation that Eshwarappa will come out clean, the investigating police officer had the fear of not going against them. Hence, the B-Report was filed,” Shivakumar said.

 





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