- Police has been directed to ensure a speedy and transparent investigation
- Santosh Patil, a BJP leader and contractor was found dead in a lodge in Udupi on Tuesday
- Karnataka Congress has decided to intensify agitation against the ruling BJP government
A case has been registered against Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) minister K S Eshwarappa for abetment of suicide in connection with the death of a civil contractor, police said on Wednesday. They said Eshwarappa has been named as the first accused in the case. The FIR was registered based on a complaint from Prashanth Patil, brother of Santhosh Patil, who had levelled bribery charges against the senior minister earlier. Patil was found dead at a lodge in Udupi in a case of suspected suicide.
Meanwhile, minister Eshwarappa has said that there is no question of him stepping down while calling the death note of contractor Santosh Patil 'false propaganda'.
"The death note is false propaganda (on contractor Santosh Patil who accused Eshwarappa of corruption found dead in a lodge in Udupi). I have informed CM Bommai and the party president that there is no question of me resigning as a minister," he said.
The complaint by Prashanth named minister Eshwarappa and his staff members Ramesh and Basavaraj as the accused. In the complaint, Prashanth Patil contented his brother had undertaken works worth Rs 4 crore in Hindalaga village. Santhosh had invested his money in the project and the bill for the work was pending. Santhosh had visited minister Eshwarappa several times and had pleaded him to release the amount. But his close aid Basavaraj and Ramesh were demanding 40 percent commission, the complaint alleged.
Meanwhile, a forensic team examined the evidence at the spot where Patil was found dead. Patil's death had on Tuesday triggered a major political row with the Congress demanding the ouster of Eshwarappa even as its senior leader Rahul Gandhi had targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai over the issue.