A Karnataka Congress delegation on Wednesday met Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot here and submitted a memorandum to sack Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K.S. Eshwarappa from the cabinet and ensure his immediate arrest over contractor Santhosh K. Patil’s suicide.
The delegation comprising Opposition leader Siddaramaiah and the state Congress President D.K. Shivakumar demanded that minister Eshwarappa be arrested immediately. They also pressed for his sacking from the cabinet.
Opposition leader Siddaramaiah alleged that Minister Eshwarappa had asked for 40 per cent commission from the diseased contractor. That means he had to pay Rs 1.40 crore from the total amount of Rs 4 crore. How could a small contractor pay a huge amount? Never in the history Karnataka has seen such a corrupt government, he added.
Shivakumar stated that the incident is a blot in the history of the state and Eshwarappa should be arrested. “We will not stop here. If at all there is an order prohibiting agitations in Bengaluru, we will continue to protest on the issue even if we are punished for it,” he said.
Siddaramaiah further stated that the deceased Santosh Patil had gone to Udupi and tried to meet Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. When he was not able to meet him, he had sent a WhatsApp message to friends alleging directly that Minister Eshwarappa is responsible for his death and committed suicide.
This should be considered as a deathnote and Minister Eshwarappa should be immediately arrested. The complainant in the case the brother of the deceased has also stated that Minister Eshwarappa is directly responsible for the death, he explained.
This is a case which comes under The Prevention of Corruption Act. The case has to be lodged under Section 13 of this act against the minister. There is a provision in the law to imprison the accused Eshwarappa for 10 years for abetting the suicide and it is a non-bailable offence. The law is equal for all, Siddaramaiah maintained.
“The Governor has assured us that he would speak to Chief Minister Bommai in this regard. Eshwarappa is not beyond the law. Action should be initiated against him if the government has any respect. It should arrest Eshwarappa and sack him from the cabinet immediately,” Siddaramaiah reiterated.
Santhosh K. Patil, a contractor committed suicide after consuming poison in Udupi. He had sent messages on Whatsapp holding Minister Eshwarappa directly responsible for his death. Police have lodged a FIR against Eshwarappa and booked him under abetment to suicide charge.