K. Sharanappa Eshwarappa (born 10 June 1948)[2] is an Indian politician and a senior Bharatiya Janata Party member, who was the 6th Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, in the government headed by Jagadish Shettar. He has also served as the Minister for Energy, Minister for major irrigation and water resources and also the State President of BJP Karnataka unit. On 20 August 2019 he was inducted as a Cabinet Minister in the BJP government led by B.S. Yediyurappa. He was Minister of State for Rural development and Panchayat Raj of Karnataka from 20 August 2019 to 14 April 2022. He served as Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Council (2014-2018).

K. S. Eshwarappa
Minister of Rural Development & Panchayat Raj
Government of Karnataka
In office
20 August 2019 – 14 April 2022
Chief MinisterB. S. Yediyurappa
Basavaraj Bommai
Preceded byKrishna Byre Gowda
In office
12 July 2012 – 13 May 2013
Chief MinisterJagadish Shettar
Preceded byJagadish Shettar
Succeeded byH. K. Patil
Minister of Youth Empowerment & Sports
Government of Karnataka
In office
27 September 2019 – 10 February 2020
Chief MinisterB. S. Yediyurappa
Basavaraj Bommai
Preceded byRahim Khan
Succeeded byC. T. Ravi
6th Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka
In office
12 July 2012 – 13 May 2013
Serving with R. Ashoka
Chief MinisterJagadish Shettar
Preceded byB. S. Yeddyurappa
Succeeded byG. Parameshwara
Minister of Revenue
Government of Karnataka
In office
12 July 2012 – 13 May 2013
Chief MinisterJagadish Shettar
Preceded byG. Karunakara Reddy
Succeeded bySrinivasa Prasad
Minister of Energy
Government of Karnataka
In office
30 May 2008 – 28 January 2010
Chief MinisterB. S. Yediyurappa
Preceded byH. D. Revanna
Succeeded byShobha Karandlaje
Minister of Major & Medium Irrigation
Government of Karnataka
In office
18 February 2006 – 8 October 2007
Chief MinisterH. D. Kumaraswamy
Preceded byMallikarjun Kharge
Succeeded byBasavaraj Bommai
Leader of the Opposition
Karnataka Legislative Council
In office
13 July 2014 – 29 May 2018
Preceded byD. V. Sadananda Gowda
Succeeded byKota Srinivas Poojary
President of Bharatiya Janata Party, Karnataka
In office
2 January 2010 – 11 July 2012
Preceded byD V Sadananda Gowda
Succeeded byPrahlad Joshi
Member of Karnataka Legislative Council
In office
1 July 2014 – 15 May 2018
Constituencyelected by the Legislative Assembly members
Member of Karnataka Legislative Assembly
In office
17 May 2018 – 13 May 2023
Preceded byK. B. Prasanna Kumar
ConstituencyShimoga
In office
2004–2013
Preceded byH.M Chandrashekarappa
Succeeded byK.B. Prasanna Kumar
ConstituencyShivamogga
In office
1989–1999
Preceded byK. H. Srinivassa
Succeeded byH.M Chandrashekarappa
ConstituencyShimoga
Personal details
Born (1948-06-10) 10 June 1948 (age 76)
Ballari,[1] Mysore State, India
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
ResidenceBengaluru

Early life

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K. S. Eshwarappa was born in Bellary. His father Sharanappa and mother Bassamma moved to Shimoga in the early 1950s. His parents worked in the Bhoopalam Areca Mandi as daily wage workers. When young Eshwarappa also tried to go to work with his parents, his mother opposed the move and urged him to concentrate on his education and earn a good name in society. This inspiration that he got in his childhood, eventually led him to become a social worker.

As a child, Eshwarappa was interested in sports and music.[citation needed]

While he was a student in the National Commerce College, Shimoga, he actively worked with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (A.B.V.P.), the student wing of RSS. After his graduation, he started his own private business in Shimoga city. He also involved himself with the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh.[citation needed]

Political career

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During the Emergency (1975–77), he was arrested and detained in the Bellary Jail. After the removal of emergency, he became very active in politics. He worked in different capacities and in 1982, became the president of the Shimoga city unit of BJP. His personal efforts were one of the main reasons in M. Ananda Rao winning from Shimoga as the first ever BJP candidate.

In 1989, he contested the Karnataka assembly elections as a BJP candidate from Shimoga and defeated a heavyweight, the then health Minister K. H. Srinivas by a margin of 1,304 votes. He became popular with this victory and went on to win four more times from this constituency, losing only once in 1999. In 1992, he became the President of the State unit of BJP and was instrumental in his party's good performance in the 1994 state assembly elections. In 2000, he was appointed the Chairman of the Central Silk Board when the NDA government was in power.[3]

In the BJP-JDS coalition Government headed by H. D. Kumaraswamy, he was Minister for Water Resources.[4] Following the historic victory of the BJP in the Karnataka state elections in 2008, he became the minister for Power in the B.S. Yeddyurappa government.[5]

In January 2010, he resigned as minister and was unanimously elected as the President of the Karnataka state unit of the ruling BJP.[6] This move was seen as BJP's strategy to tackle opposition leader in the assembly Siddaramaiah, who also belongs to the same community.[7]

In July 2012, following the resignation of D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Jagadish Shettar was appointed the Chief minister and Eshwarappa became Deputy Chief minister. He was also entrusted with the Revenue and Rural development portfolios.[8][9] He then stepped down as the State BJP president and was succeeded by Prahlad Joshi.[10][11]

In the 2013 Assembly elections, Eshwarappa contested again from the Shimoga assembly constituency and lost to K. B. Prasanna Kumar of the Congress by a margin of nearly 6,000 votes.[12] Days after making an alleged “hate speech” against a minority community, Eshwarappa was slapped with a criminal case in April 2013 after electoral officials issued directions for it.[13]

However, he was nominated by his party to the Karnataka Legislative Council in 2014[14] and became the Leader of the Opposition in the council.[15]

In the 2018 Karnataka Legislative Assembly election he again contested from Shimaga and won the seat. Further after the collapse of H. D. Kumaraswamy's coalition government, he was sworn in as the Rural development and Panchayat Raj minister. After the resignation of B. S. Yediyurappa he was again inducted as the cabinet minister under Basavaraj Bommai.[16]

On 14 April 2022, Eshwarappa resigned from his position as Rural Development and Panchayat Raj minister after a controversy arose over his alleged role in the suicide of a contractor, Santhosh Patil, who wasn't paid for road works.[17][18]

In April 2023, Eshwarappa announced retirement from electoral politics, by writing to the National President of BJP J. P. Nadda to not consider his name to any constituency for the Karnataka Assembly elections that year. In a press meet, he cited the age rule of 75 years in the party, and thanked his party and the leaders for providing all opportunities in his career.[19] In March 2024, he expressed displeasure over his son Kantesh being denied a ticket to contest the general election for the Lok Sabha from Haveri, and blamed party colleague Yeddyurappa alleging his hand in the matter.[20] Consequently, Eshwarappa announced that he would contest as an independent candidate from Shimoga against B. Y. Raghavendra, the incumbent MP and son of Yeddyurappa, who was given a BJP ticket. This led to him being expelled by the party in April 2024 for a period of six years.[21]

Controversies

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Santhosh Patil, a contractor involved in government projects,accused Eshwarappa of harassing him for commission, was found dead in a hotel in the state’s Udupi district on morning of April 12, 2022.[22][23]

Patil who had recently raised allegations against the then rural development minister K S Eshwarappa, saying that the BJP leader had been harassing him for commissions to clear the bills for contracts he had implemented for the government over a year ago. Patil had also said that Eshwarappa should be held responsible if something happened to him.

On April 12, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai was informed in Mangaluru that the contractor had gone missing after leaving a note behind. Patil, who identified himself as the national secretary of a right-wing group called Hindu Vahini, had recently written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union minister for rural development Giriraj Singh alleging that Eshwarappa and his associates were harassing him for commissions. Eshwarappa claimed that he did not know Patil.

Patil, in his letters to the central government, had stated that he and six other contractors had implemented road projects in Hindala gram panchayat in Belagavi district in May 2021, but were not paid for the same. He claimed that the contractors invested Rs 4 crore for the project, but had suffered losses due to government delay in payments.

Alleging that government officials were seeking a 40 per cent commission on the total bill, Patil claimed to have approached top BJP leaders with his grievances. “I am in great tension and have huge pressure from creditors who have given me finance on interest. If the payment and work order is not given immediately, then I do not have any option for myself,” he had said in a March 11 letter to the Union minister.[24][25]

On 22nd April 2024,, Eshwarappa is expelled from BJP for six years. [1]

Hate Speech

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Eshwarappa made a controversial remark at an event in Gundlupet, claiming that churches and mosques were built in Mathura and Kashi after demolishing temples.

He also said Narendra Modi will become the Prime Minister again in 2024, and those mosques will also be destroyed on the lines of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya and temples will be rebuilt there too.[26][27]

In March 2023, Eshwarappa triggered a row after he asked whether Allah was deaf if Muslims had to recite his name through the microphone every day.[28] During his speech at the BJP’s ongoing Vijay Sankalpa Yatra on 12 March 2023, azan – the Islamic call for prayer – was heard in the background. On hearing it, the Shivamogga MLA said the azaan was a headache for him wherever he went. “There is a Supreme Court judge. Today or tomorrow, this (practice of calling azaan over mics) will definitely end,” Eshwarappa said, attracting cheers from party supporters at the rally.[29] [30]

In June 2023, he said that all mosques must be replaced by temples drawing ire from the ruling Congress government in Karnataka.[31]

References

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  1. ^ Wikipedia early life and Myneta}{
  2. ^ "City today".
  3. ^ "Gradual ascent of K S Eshwarappa". The New Indian Express. 12 July 2012. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Eshwarappa, Horatti among 20 Cabinet Ministers sworn in". The Hindu. 18 February 2006. Archived from the original on 4 October 2008.
  5. ^ "No power crisis in State: Eshwarappa". Deccan Herald.
  6. ^ "K.S. Eshwarappa all set to become State BJP president". The Hindu. 28 January 2010. Archived from the original on 15 September 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  7. ^ "K. S. Eshwarappa elected Karnataka BJP chief". The Hindu. 28 January 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  8. ^ "2 Deputy CMs for Karnataka". The Hindu. 10 July 2012.
  9. ^ "Shettar keeps Finance, Eshwarappa gets Revenue portfolio". The Hindu. 12 July 2012.
  10. ^ "Eshwarappa steps down as State BJP president". The Hindu. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  11. ^ "Pralhad Joshi appointed Karnataka BJP president". The Hindu. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  12. ^ "12 ministers fall as Congress storms back to power in Karnataka, BJP decimated". The Times of India. 5 May 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  13. ^ "Criminal case filed against Eshwarappa for "hate speech"". The Hindu. PTI. 12 April 2013. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  14. ^ "BJP favours Kore for RS, Eshwarappa for Council". The Hindu. 31 May 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Eshwarappa takes charge as Leader of Opposition in Council". The Hindu. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  16. ^ Correspondent, Special (4 August 2021). "Karnataka Cabinet: Team Bommai emerges as new Ministers take oath of office". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  17. ^ "Karnataka: Eshwarappa quits, says truth will come out". 16 April 2022. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  18. ^ "Eshwarappa resigns over contractor Santhosh Patil's death, alleges conspiracy". The News Minute. 16 April 2022. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  19. ^ "Senior Karnataka BJP leader K S Eshwarappa retires from electoral politics". Deccan Herald. 11 April 2023. Retrieved 20 April 2023.
  20. ^ "Lok Sabha polls: Eshwarappa blames BSY for son being denied BJP ticket; to meet well-wishers to decide next step". The Hindu. 13 March 2024. Retrieved 22 April 2024.
  21. ^ "Former Karnataka deputy CM K S Eshwarappa expelled from BJP for 6 years". The Indian Express. 22 April 2024. Retrieved 22 April 2024.
  22. ^ "Contractor who raised graft allegation against Karnataka minister K S Eshwarappa found dead". www.indianexpress.com. 13 April 2022. Retrieved 16 March 2023.
  23. ^ "Contractor found dead in Karnataka hotel room, 'suicide note' blames minister Eshwarappa". 12 April 2022.
  24. ^ "Karnataka contractor's death: Eshwarappa booked for abetment, says won't resign". www.indianexpress.com. 14 April 2022. Retrieved 16 March 2023.
  25. ^ "Karnataka Minister booked for death of contractor". www.thehindu.com. 14 April 2022. Retrieved 16 March 2023.
  26. ^ "In Kashi and Mathura, mosques will be destroyed and temples will be built – MLA KS Eshwarappa". www.thehindustangazette.com. 3 March 2023. Retrieved 14 March 2023.
  27. ^ "ಕಾಶಿ, ಮಥುರಾದಲ್ಲಿ ಮಸೀದಿ ಧ್ವಂಸ ಮಾಡಿ ಮಂದಿರ ನಿರ್ಮಾಣ: ಈಶ್ವರಪ್ಪ". www.prajavani.net (in Kannada). 2 March 2023. Retrieved 14 March 2023.
  28. ^ "Karnataka BJP MLA Eshwarappa asks if Allah 'is deaf', triggers row". The Indian Express. 13 March 2023. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  29. ^ "Karnataka BJP MLA Eshwarappa asks if Allah 'is deaf', triggers row". www.indianexpress.com. 13 March 2023. Retrieved 14 March 2023.
  30. ^ "Eshwarappa's comment on 'azaan' stokes controversy". www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 14 March 2023. Retrieved 14 March 2023.
  31. ^ "Temples will replace all mosques: Karnataka Minister Eshwarappa stirs controversy". India Today. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
Political offices
Preceded by Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka
13 July 2012 – 8 May 2013
Succeeded by