K’taka Contractor Death Row: Cong demands Eshwarappa’s Arrest

Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar on Wednesday said that a corruption case must be registered against Minister KS Eshwarappa for allegedly demanding commission from deceased contractor Santosh Patil.

Addressing a joint press conference with former chief minister Siddaramaiah, Shivakumar said, “We will go to Belagavi and meet Santosh Patil’s family. The post-mortem has been delayed, we don’t know the reason why. An FIR has been filed, and now the Minister (Eshwarappa) has to be arrested. A corruption case must also be slapped against him.”
“He is also a murderer, what he has done is abetment to suicide. The family members have said it,” he added.

The Congress leader alleged that the state police is trying to safeguard the minister in the FIR.

“It is a black spot for the state. The BJP leaders have not spoken on the issue yet. Will the Minister resign? Why has the BJP not considered slapping a corruption charge against Eshwarappa? The police officials are trying to safeguard him through the FIR,” Shivakumar said.

The Congress state chief also announced that the party would protest against the government in front of the Chief Minister’s residence and in all districts.

Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah demanded the arrest of the Minister and other accused.

“FIR lodged against KS Eshwarappa. He and other accused should be immediately arrested; a case must be filed under the corruption act… In his text message, (deceased contractor) Santosh Patil clearly blamed Eshwarappa for his death. The Minister and his PAs demanded 40 per cent commission. He wrote to PM Modi and met BL Santhosh and others. He categorically mentioned corruption. We demand that the case must be filed under the corruption act,” he said.

Referring to the purported social media message, the Congress leader said “In his WhatsApp message, he clearly said that Eshwarappa is responsible for his death. So Eshwarappa must be arrested.”

Earlier, the brother of the deceased contractor Santosh Patil on Wednesday demanded the arrest of Karnataka Minister KS Eshwarappa and his close aides Ramesh and Basawaraj.

A Congress delegation led by state party chief DK Shivakumar, and former chief minister Siddaramaiah also met the Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot, demanding the expulsion of Eshwarappa from the state cabinet as well as his arrest over contractor Santosh Patil’s death. (ANI)

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