Eshwarappa’s resignation cannot be seen as a setback for the government: Karnataka CM

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Friday the resignation of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Minister KS Eshwarappa, against whom police have filed a case of assisting in the suicide of contractor Santosh Patil, could not be counted as ” setback” for the government.

He said the investigation would bring out the truth and asked the opposition Congress, which is calling for Eshwarappa’s arrest, not to become investigators, prosecutors and judges themselves.

“He (Eshwarappa) has decided. He will resign tonight. I spoke to him yesterday, he has a clear position and is resigning voluntarily. He has said he is 100% innocent. He has requested an investigation at the earliest and is confident of clearing himself of the allegations against him,” Bommai told reporters here.

When asked if there had been a conspiracy against Eshwarappa, he said it would emerge from the investigation.

“As the investigation progresses from all angles, the truth will come out…” he added.

As political upheaval broke out, Eshwarappa announced his resignation as minister on Thursday evening. He will submit the letter of resignation to Bommai on Friday evening.

In response to a question about the opposition parties calling for Eshwarappa’s arrest, the prime minister said police should be allowed to investigate the case first.

“Was KJ George (Congress minister accused by a police officer before committing suicide) arrested by the Congressional government? Neither the Karnataka police nor the CBI had arrested him, despite the NDA government at the centre. The police will decide whether or not to arrest them,” he said.

Don’t let congressional leaders become investigators, prosecutors and judges themselves, he said, adding that “allow the police to conduct a fair investigation, the truth will come out.”

Santosh Patil, a Belagavi-based property developer, was found dead in a hotel in Udupi on Tuesday, weeks after he accused Eshwarappa, who is also a senior BJP leader, of corruption.

In an alleged farewell letter in the form of a WhatsApp message, Patil had blamed Eshwarappa for his death.

Following a complaint from Patil’s relatives, Udupi City Police booked Eshwarappa for assisting in suicide.

Asked if the incident was a setback for the government, Bommai said the truth about the developments that took place and the road works allegedly carried out by Santosh Patil without a work order will come out.

“Eshwarappa is confident that he will be fine after the investigation, after which it will be known who will suffer setbacks and for whom it is a step forward … there is no talk of a setback or a step forward (for the government)” he added.

Santosh Patil had last month complained to Union Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh and BJP central leaders that he was still being paid Rs 4 crore for road works in Hindalga village, and had accused Eshwarappa’s aides of a Demand commission for payment. PTI KSU KSU SS SS Eshwarappa’s resignation cannot be seen as a setback for the government: Karnataka CM

Jaclyn Diaz

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