In a huge embarrassment to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka, Lokayukta sleuths on Monday conducted searches at the residences of Deputy Chief Minister and state unit chief K S Eshwarappa in Bengaluru and in Shimoga in connection with a FIR filed against him in a disproportionate assets case.
The sleuths also searched six other offices and business premises in the district headquarter town of Shimoga, from where Esharappa hails, including two institutions and a travel company, Lokayukta sources said.
Eshwarappa holds the revenue and rural development and panchayat raj portfolios in the Jagadish Shettar government. The probe against him is seen as a huge embarrassment to the BJP, which has already been hit by several scandals linked to some ministers and its leaders.
"I welcome it. I see it as an opportunity for the truth to come out. I am confident of coming out of this," Eshwarappa said in his reaction to the searches.
After the FIR was filed, he had last week dismissed suggestions that he resign from the Cabinet, noting that the probe was ordered based on a private complaint and it was not fair on the part of opposition parties to demand his scalp.