Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said the resignation of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Minister K S Eshwarappa, against whom police have booked a case for abetting the suicide of contractor Santosh Patil, cannot be considered a 'setback' for the government.
He said the truth will come out from the investigation and asked the opposition Congress, which is demanding Eshwarappa's arrest, not to become investigators, prosecutors and judges themselves.
"He (Eshwarappa) has decided. He will be giving resignation today evening. I spoke to him yesterday, he is of a clear stand and is voluntarily resigning. He has said that he is hundred per cent innocent. He has asked for an investigation to happen at the earliest and is confident of coming out clear from the allegations against him," Bommai said told reporters in Hubballi.
In response to a question as to whether there was any conspiracy against Eshwarappa, he said, this will come out from the investigation.
"As investigation progresses from all angles, truth will come out...," he added.
As a political furore erupted, Eshwarappa had on Thursday evening announced his resignation as minister.
He will be submitting the resignation letter to Bommai on Friday evening.
Responding to a question on the opposition parties demanding Eshwarappa's arrest, the chief minister said police should be allowed to investigate the case first.
"Was K J George (Minister during Congress rule who was blamed by a police officer before committing suicide) arrested by the Congress government? Neither the Karnataka police nor the CBI had arrested him, despite the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government at the Centre. Police will decide if they need to arrest or not," he said.
Let Congress leaders themselves not become investigators, prosecutors and judges, he said, adding that 'allow police to conduct a fair probe, truth will come out'.
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. Based on a complaint from Patil's relative, Udupi town police booked Eshwarappa for abetting the suicide.
To a question whether the incident is a setback for the government, Bommai said that the truth will come out regarding the developments that have taken place and the road work that is said to have been undertaken by Santosh Patil, without any work order.
"Eshwarappa is confident about coming out clear after investigation, after that it will be known who will face setbacks and for whom it is a step forward...there is no question of a setback or a step forward (for the government)," he added.
Santosh Patil had last month complained to Union Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh and Bharatiya Janata Party 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 commission for the payment.