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Karnataka CM Bommai Accepts Minister Eshwarappa’s Resignation Amid Abetment Case

KS Eshwarappa is accused of abetting the suicide of BJP contractor Santhosh Patil.

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Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday, 15 April, accepted resignation of the state Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Minister KS Eshwarappa.

Earlier in the day, Eshwarappa had submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, amid a controversy over the the minister's involvement in an abetment to suicide case.

Eshwarappa was on Wednesday, 13 April, charged with abetment of suicide of a Belagavi-based contractor Santhosh Patil, who had accused the minister of corruption. Patil was found dead at a lodge in Karnataka's Udupi.

Hours before resigning, Eshwarappa had told his supporters that allegations made against him are a "conspiracy" and that he will come out clean as he is innocent. He also claimed that seniors in the party had not been accepting his resignation since the last four days.

"An allegation is being made against me, should I come clear out of it or not? For me to come clear as innocent... if I continue as minister when investigation is on, there will be a feeling that I may influence the investigation. So I'm resigning as minister. I'm telling you that I will come out innocent and will certainly become minister once again," Eshwarappa said, as quoted by PTI.

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The RDPR leader also added that he is emotional after getting the support from leaders like BS Yediyurappa, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, ministers, legislators as well as karyakartas.

CM Bommai had said on Thursday that the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) top brass had not said anything about the case against Eshwarappa, adding that action will be taken only after the investigation.

Before this, on Wednesday, Eshwarappa and Bommai had both struck a defiant note, saying that the former would not tender his resignation, even as the Congress staged protests to demand the accused minister's sacking.

What Led To Eshwarappa's Resignation?

Santhosh Patil, who hailed from Hindalaga in Belagavi, had been missing since Monday, 11 April. A day later, his body was found in a lodge in Udupi. The contractor had died by suicide, preliminary investigations showed.

Patil had earlier accused Eshwarappa of asking for a bribe of 40 percent of the total cost of a project, demanding a commission to the tune of Rs 4 crore for the construction of a road in Belagavi's Higaldo village.

A case was registered by the Udupi Police under Indian Penal Code Section 306 (abetment to suicide) on Wednesday, naming Eshwarappa and two of his aides – Basavaraj and Ramesh. The FIR is based on a complaint lodged by the brother of the deceased contractor.

As furore erupted over the minister's involvement in the case, the Congress party held large protests demanding Eshwarappa's resignation and demanding a judicial probe.

Following this, Eshwarappa said on Thursday that he would hand in his resignation on Friday.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  KARNATAKA   KS Eshwarappa 

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