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Karnataka

Contractor who accused Karnataka Minister of Rural Development K.S. Eshwarappa of demanding 40 per cent commission found dead

Published : Apr 12, 2022 19:40 IST T+T-
Santosh K. Patil, contractor and member of the Hindu Yuva Vahini.

Santosh K. Patil, contractor and member of the Hindu Yuva Vahini.

Santosh K. Patil, a contractor and member of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, allegedly committed suicide today at a hotel in Udupi.

Santosh K. Patil, a contractor and member of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, allegedly committed suicide today at a hotel in Udupi. Patil was in the news a few months ago after he accused K.S. Eshwarappa, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister in the Karnataka government, of demanding a 40 per cent commission on the tender that he had been allotted for road works.

Santosh Patil, who is from Belagavi in north Karnataka, had gone missing since yesterday. When the police tracked down his location via his mobile phone, his dead body was discovered in a lodge in Udupi. In one of the last WhatsApp messages that Patil sent that has been widely shared on social media, the contractor blamed Eshwarappa for his death.

Patil’s message read: “Minister Eshwarappa is responsible for my death. The Minister should be punished. I have set aside all my desires and have decided to end my life. The Prime Minister, Chief Minister and [former Chief Minister] B.S. Yediyurappa must help my wife and children.”

Eshwarappa has denied the allegations against him and claimed that he did not even know Patil. Eshwarappa said: “There is no question of my resignation. I had even lodged a case of defamation against this person [Patil]. How can I be linked to his suicide?”

D.K. Shivakumar, president, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, said: “The deceased contractor Santosh Patil has clearly stated that Eshwarappa is responsible for his death. Eshwarappa should be charged for the murder of Patil and should be removed from the Cabinet.” Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that an inquiry into the death will be ordered and that the police would probe the matter “without any interference”.

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