The Lokayukta police Monday raided Deputy Chief Minister and president of the BJP’s Karnataka unit K S Eshwarappa in connection with a private complaint alleging accumulation of wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.
The raids were carried out at the Bangalore and Shimoga residences of Eshwarappa as well as six offices in Shimoga where he hails from. Lokayukta officials seized Rs 10.9 lakh in cash, 1.9 kg of gold and 37 kg of silver during the searches. A cement dealership unit, two educational institutions and the house of his close aide N Somasekhar in Shimoga were also among the places raided.
On December 15, a complaint was filed in a Shimoga court by a lawyer, B Vinod, against Eshwarappa, his son Kanthesh K E and daughter-in-law Shalini accusing them of accummulating wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income.
A case was registered on the directions of the court by the Lokayukta police.
The raids occurred on a day when the JD(S) launched an agitation in Shimoga against Eshwarappa, who holds the revenue, rural development and panchayath raj portfolios.
Eshwarappa, who had managed to steer clear of corruption charges so far, has been the public face of BJP in its attempt to come clean. Eshwarappa welcomed the raids and said he saw it as “an opportunity for truth to come out’’. “I am confident of coming out clean,’’ he said.
“We are confident that the BJP state president will come clean,’’ the party said in an official statement.
The complaint and raids against Eshwarappa are seen as being politically coloured, like it has been in a series of private complaints filed in recent times against B S Yeddyurappa, H D Deve Gowda, H D Kumaraswamy and S M Krishna. Eshwarappa is an arch enemy of Yeddyurappa, who recently left the BJP to launch his own party.