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The Hindu
The Hindu
Rishikesh Bahadur Desai

Congress leaders demand Eshwarappa’s arrest

Congress leaders have demanded that RDPR Minister K.S. Eshwarappa be arrested under two charges – abetting the suicide of contractor and BJP worker Santosh K. Patil, and corruption.

Some Congress leaders who visited the house of Patil and met his wife, mother, and other relatives, alleged that Mr. Eshwarappa was directly responsible for the death of Patil, that amounted to abetment and that the Minister was involved in unprecedented levels of corruption in the department. Patil, a city-based contractor and Hindu Yuva Vahini leader was found dead in Udupi, a few months after accusing Mr. Eshwarappa of corruption.

This is not suicide, but murder, as the victim has been endlessly harassed by the Minister. It is an open and shut case of murder. Mr. Eshwarappa should be arrested immediately, Randeep Singh Surjewala, AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka, said.

Corruption is another serious issue. When the ruling party is looting its own workers, what can we say? Despite all evidence, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is protecting the Minister. This shows that Mr. Bommai is also involved. All these developments point to the CM’s involvement in corruption. The CM has remained blind to the allegations of 40% commission in Government contracts, made by the contractor’s association. But this will not go on for long. The people will reject them soon. BJP’s time is over,’’ Mr. Surjewala said.

The Congress demanded that the State Government announce an immediate compensation of ₹1 crore to the contractor’s family, a Government job for Jayashree Patil, the victim’s wife, and an inquiry into the allegations made by Patil, he said.

If the State Government failed to provide a job to Ms. Jayashree, local Congress leaders like Lakshmi Hebbalkar, Satish Jarkiholi and Firose Sait would accommodate her in their institutions or companies, Mr. Surjewala said.

We will stand in support of the family and fight for them, he said. Reacting to BJP general secretary Arun Singh’s remark that Mr. Surjewala was coming to Karnataka without going to Rajasthan or other States, where there were similar incidents, the Congress leader said that Mr. Singh was being cruel.

I think Mr. Singh has lost his sense of political understanding. How can he be so unkind and cruel. Can he not see the tears in the eyes of the dead BJP worker’s mother and wife?, he said. If the BJP are so unkind, they should be ashamed of themselves, Mr. Surjewala said.

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