SHIVAMOGGA: Amid mounting pressure, Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj minister KS Eshwarappa on Thursday announced that he would step down from the post by rendering his resignation to CM Bommai on Friday evening.
The opposition has been demanding chief minister Basavaraj Bommai drop Eshwarappa from the cabinet after he was booked by the Udupi police for abetment of suicide. He was stated to be responsible for the suicide of a contractor from Belagavi Santosh Patil.
"I decided to step down once FIR was filed against me. I didn't want to put our government and leaders in an awkward situation. So, I am going to Bengaluru tomorrow afternoon and would submit my resignation to Bommai in the evening. I thank all our state and central leaders for providing me an opportunity to serve as RDPR minister", said Eshwarappa.
He affirmed, "I strongly believe in my family deity Sri Chowdeshwari Devi. Even if I am one percent guilty in Santhosh Patil's death, let the deity punish me."
Demanding a thorough probe into the issue, Eshwarappa said, he has appealed to CM to make a detailed inquiry into Santosh Patil's suicide.
Bommai had earlier suggested that there was no need for Eshwarappa to resign as of now and any furher decision would be taken after the preliminary inquiry.
Patil had accused Eshwarappa’s associates of demanding 40 per cent commission for releasing payment. He and the other contractors had completed 108 roads works under Hindalga GP limits, investing their own money, and taking loans from friends, family and financial institutions. Patil had started work on oral assurances of public representatives and spent Rs 4 crore, his friend claimed.
Earlier, Eshwarappa had rejected calls for his resignation over the issue, saying he was not at fault. Patil's death has triggered a major political row and demands from the opposition Congress for the resignation of the BJP leader or his dismissal from the Cabinet.