Karnataka: Modi calls former minister Eshwarappa, hails his commitment to BJP

In a video that has been going viral, PM Modi is seen praising Eshwarappa for his commitment to the party and promising to meet him whenever he visits poll-bound Karnataka

Eshwarappa, withdraws from electoral race, BJP leader
Although, Eshwarappa, had asked the BJP to give a ticket to K E Kantesh from Shivamogga, the same has been denied by the party | File photo: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday (April 21) heaped praises on BJP MLA KS Eshwarappa days after his son’s candidature was passed over for the Shivamogga Assembly seat in poll-bound Karnataka.

Eshwarappa, who recently announced his retirement from electoral politics, also shared a video of him talking to Modi in a phone call.

“You have demonstrated your commitment to the party. I am very happy with you. So, I decided to talk to you,” Modi is heard saying in the video.

Also read: Karnataka polls: Eshwarappa’s son denied ticket in BJP’s final list

Modi in the video says he will meet Eshwarappa when he visits Karnataka. Eshwarappa told the PM that the BJP will win the upcoming election.

Later addressing reporters, Eshwarappa said: “I had no clue even in my dream that the Prime Minister will call me. His phone call has inspired me. We will win the election in the Shivamogga city. We will also make every effort to form the BJP government in Karnataka.”

Eshwarappa said he didn’t give a second thought and made his decision to retire public when party president J P Nadda and BJP general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh called him with a request to retire from electoral politics.

Also read: BJP leader K S Eshwarappa withdraws from electoral politics

Eshwarappa, a former Deputy Chief Minister, had recently conveyed to the BJP central leadership his wish to retire from electoral politics. The five-time MLA from the constituency, however, is said to have sought the ticket for his son K E Kantesh from the segment.

The party, though, has given the ticket to Channabasappa overlooking the senior leader’s request.

Eshwarappa had stepped down as Rural Development and Panchayat Raj minister in April 2022 after a contractor Santosh Patil died by suicide accusing him of collecting 40 per cent commission on public works in Belagavi. A probe later gave him a clean chit.

Also read: Eshwarappa: Hardline BJP leader with a penchant for controversies

(With inputs from agencies)