Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister KS Eshwarappa, who will submit his resignation to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday evening, said he will return to the cabinet as soon as his name is cleared in the investigation into accusations made by Santosh Patil, the contractor who allegedly died by suicide on Tuesday.
“An allegation is being made against me, should I come out of it clean or not?...for me to be proved as innocent, if I continue as minister when the investigation is on, there will be a feeling that I may influence the investigation. So I’m resigning as minister...I’m telling you that I will come out innocent and will certainly become Minister once again,” Eshwarappa said.
Santosh Patil, a Belagavi-based contractor, was found dead at a hotel in Udupi on Tuesday, weeks after accusing Eshwarappa, who is also a senior BJP leader, of corruption.
In a purported suicide note in the form of a WhatsApp message, Patil had blamed Eshwarappa for his death.
Patil last month complained to Union Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh and also BJP central leaders stating that he was yet to be paid Rs 4 crore for road works undertaken in Hindalga village and had accused Eshwarappa's aides of demanding 40 per cent commission for the release of the payment.
As a political furore erupted, Eshwarappa had on Thursday evening announced his resignation as Minister.
Stating that party workers are pained and some were even crying asking him not to resign, he said, he has told them very clearly that this is an "agni pareekshe" (trial by fire), an allegation has been made against him, and that several people have conspired against him.
"When I asked them whether I should come out clear from all the allegations or not, they said, I should come out clear...I'm completely confident. From the blessings of our karyakartas (workers), seniors and several swamijis, who have called me. I will come clear out of the conspiracy against me," he said.
Meanwhile, a case of abetment to suicide has been filed against Eshwarappa.