Defending BJP leader K S Eshwarappa in the suicide case of contractor Santosh Patil, JD(S) leader and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy said the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj minister should resign owing to his moral responsibility but added that the 40 per cent commission charge made by Patil is hard to prove.
Speaking to media persons at Malebennur town on Wednesday, he said that without a work order and estimated cost, Santosh Patil executed road work worth Rs 4 crore which is also wrong. Neither Eshwarappa nor the chief minister can pay money to the contractor as per the norms, he said, but called for an impartial probe.
Defending the BJP leader, he said that Congress's demand for Eshwarappa's resignation citing just a WhatsApp message is also not fair. He said that Patil went to Udupi with two persons and they spent a day together. Later, he hired another room and this has led to suspicion, which is why the police must quiz those who were with Patil and find out whether road work was done by Patil alone or others as well, Kumaraswamy told the press.
Referring to the commission, he said Congress, BJP and JD(S) have governed the state for many years. People in power used to demand commission from 7 per cent to 10 per cent and engineers used to take the lion's share of commissions. But contractors must not give 40 per cent commission to any minister and they must halt development works for a year, he suggested.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's slogan 'Na khaunga, na khane dunga' (won't take bribes, won't let anyone else take them either), he said it has become untrue now as contractors on the blacklist have become millionaires. They are earning Rs 52 crore per hour, he alleged.
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