Udupi Police on Wednesday gave a clean chit to BJP leader and former Karnataka minister KS Eshwarappa in a case where his name had appeared in the alleged suicide of contractor Santosh Patil. The police have filed a B-Report (closure report) in the suicide case and said that “no evidence" was found to support the claim that the 73-year-old leader had any role in the case.
Eshwarappa, who was the state Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister, resigned from the post on April 15 as he got embroiled in a controversy over the death of the contractor who accused him of bribery.
The Shivamogga MLA 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, adding, “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."
When asked whether he would be made a minister in the Karnataka 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.
Eshwarappa said he was hurt with 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.
In the one-line resignation letter, submitted to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Eshwarappa had said he is resigning “voluntarily".
After resigning from the ministerial post, Eshwarappa had said, “Maa Chamundeshwari will prove me innocent. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said he will investigate this matter thoroughly. If I am wrong then let God punish me. Those guilty must be punished. I will come back after a clean chit. I didn’t want the party to be embarrassed."
Patil, a Belagavi-based contractor, was found dead at a hotel in Udupi on April 12, weeks after accusing Eshwarappa of demanding 40 per cent commission in a Rs 4 crore work. In a purported suicide note in the form of a WhatsApp message, Patil had blamed Eshwarappa for his death.
In March, Patil had reportedly complained to Union Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh and also BJP central leaders stating that he was yet to be paid Rs 4 crore for road works undertaken in Hindalga village and had accused Eshwarappa’s aides of demanding the 40 per cent commission for the release of the payment. Based on a complaint filed by Patil’s relative, Udupi town police had booked Eshwarappa for abetting the suicide.
The family of Patil, had said they are not bothered about the resignation of Eshwarappa and demanded his arrest.
At that time, Eshwarappa not only dismissed the allegations but also filed a defamation suit against Patil.
(with inputs from PTI)
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