The Karnataka Contractors' Association is seeking stringent action against BJP's senior leader KS Eshwarappa, who is facing the wrath of opposition and at the centre of a major controversy. With demand for Eshwarappa's resignation growing louder, Karnataka Contractors Association president Kempanna has threatened to expose tens of corrupt MLAs.

"We will reveal the name of 4-5 highly corrupt ministers and 10-15 MLAs in the next 3-4 days. It will be a public document. Eshwarappa is responsible for Santhosh Patil's death. We demand strict action against him," Kempanna said.

Giving further hints, Kempanna said that the water resources, PWD and Health are the most corrupt departments. To register their protest, the Karnataka association is stopping all government contract works for a month from May 25.

KS Eshwarappa

Will Eshwarappa resign

Pressure is mounting on Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K.S. Eshwarappa to step down from his post in connection with suicide of Patil. Sources close to Eshwarappa explained that the minister has decided to tender his resignation after the high command asked him to do so to avoid embarrassment to the party.

On Wednesday, Eshwarappa stated that he would submit resignation if the Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai asks for it. "I will submit my resignation today itself, if directed. I have not done any wrong and let the truth come out. I have requested CM Bommai and Home Minister Araga Jnanendra to conduct an investigation. This is a blackmailing strategy," he maintained.

Heat from opposition parties

A Karnataka Congress delegation on Wednesday met Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot here and submitted a memorandum to sack Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K.S. Eshwarappa from the cabinet and ensure his immediate arrest over contractor Santhosh K. Patil's suicide. The delegation comprising Opposition leader Siddaramaiah and the state Congress President D.K. Shivakumar demanded that minister Eshwarappa be arrested immediately. They also pressed for his sacking from the cabinet.

Contractor's suicide falls heavy on K'taka BJP leader

This is a case which comes under The Prevention of Corruption Act. The case has to be lodged under Section 13 of this act against the minister. There is a provision in the law to imprison the accused Eshwarappa for 10 years for abetting the suicide and it is a non-bailable offence. The law is equal for all, Siddaramaiah maintained.

"The Governor has assured us that he would speak to Chief Minister Bommai in this regard. Eshwarappa is not beyond the law. Action should be initiated against him if the government has any respect. It should arrest Eshwarappa and sack him from the cabinet immediately," Siddaramaiah reiterated.

Besides, The Karnataka unit of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has staged a flash protest in Belagavi and lodged a complaint against Eshwarappa in Bengaluru on Tuesday following the suicide of a contractor and BJP leader Santhosh K Patil.

AAP workers led by Raju Topannanavar flashed a protest and tried to lay siege to the hotel in Belagavi, where the core committee meeting was taking place. The core committee meeting was attended by the state BJP in-charge Arun Singh, former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and others. The police took the protestors into custody to control the situation.

Meanwhile, The Karnataka Police have booked a case under IPC Sections 34 and 306 against K.S. Eshwarappa, the Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj in connection with the suicide case of Santhosh K. Patil.

All digital and circumstantial evidence available in the spot would be collected. A case of unnatural death was registered earlier and after FIR, suicide case has been lodged. "We will conduct a probe from all angles," Inspector General of Police (West) Deva Jyothi Ray said.

(Additional agency inputs added)