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Mangaluru: A case has been registered against Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) minister K S Eshwarappa for abetment of suicide in connection with the death of a civil contractor, police said on Wednesday. 

They said Eshwarappa has been named as the first accused in the case. The FIR was registered based on a complaint from Prashanth Patil, brother of Santhosh Patil, who had levelled bribery charges against the senior minister earlier. Patil was found dead at a lodge in Udupi in a case of suspected suicide. 

The complaint by Prashanth named minister Eshwarappa and his staff members Ramesh and Basavaraj as the accused. In the complaint, Prashanth Patil contented his brother had undertaken works worth 4 crore in Hindalaga village. Santhosh had invested his money in the project and the bill for the work was pending. Santhosh had visited minister Eshwarappa several times and had pleaded him to release the amount. 

But his close aides Basavaraj and Ramesh were demanding 40 percent commission, the complaint alleged. Meanwhile, a forensic team examined the evidence at the spot where Patil was found dead. 

Patil's death had on Tuesday triggered a major political row with the Congress demanding the ouster of Eshwarappa even as its senior leader Rahul Gandhi had targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai over the issue. 

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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