Eshwarappa should resign for fair probe: Khader

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The Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K.S. Eshwarappa should resign for allowing a fair investigation into the allegations made by 36-year-old civil contractor Santosh Patil, who was found dead in a lodge in Udupi on April 12, said Mangaluru MLA and Deputy Leader of the Congress Legislative Party in the Assembly U.T. Khader here on Thursday.

Talking to reporters, Mr. Khader said like all seasoned politicians in the State, Mr. Eshwarappa should also resign. “There cannot be a fair investigation into the incident with Mr. Eshwarappa continuing as the Minister. If the allegations are found to be false, Mr. Eshwarappa can come back as a Minister later,” he said.

Then Home Minister K.G. George, Mr. Khader said, resigned following allegation of harassment by Deputy Superintendent of Police M.K. Ganapati, who was found dead in a lodge in 2016. The Central Bureau of Investigation did not find any substance in the allegation and Mr. George came back as the Minister, Mr. Khader said.

The MLA said Mr. Santosh Patil has sent out a message through WhatsApp to a few of his friends holding Mr. Eshwarappa and his two aides responsible for his death.

Earlier he gave a statement to reporters accusing Mr. Eshwarappa and his aides of demanding 40% commission for passing the bills for civil works done in Hindalga Gram Panchayat in 2020-21. The ongoing investigation by the police should reveal as to how these works of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj department were done without the work orders, he said.

Former Moodbidri MLA and newly elected Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee vice-president K. Abhayachandra Jain said KPCC will continue the protest demanding the arrest of Mr. Eshwarappa.

Meanwhile, BJP State president and Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel said that investigation into the alleged suicide of Mr. Patil and developments that happened before the incident is on. “Whosoever is responsible will face action of the Government and the party,” he said here on Thursday.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of Ambedkar Jayanti celebrations here, Mr. Kateel said the State Government as well as Mr. Eshwarappa have demanded a detailed investigation into the incident. “There is a process involved in finding out the truth,” Mr. Kateel said. The allegation purportedly made by the deceased through WhatsApp cannot be considered as a dying declaration, he said.



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