N.R. Santosh recovering; booked for suicide attempt

N.R. Santosh, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s political secretary and grand nephew, who is being treated at MS Ramaiah Hospital after an alleged attempt to end his life, is recovering and stable, a statement from the hospital said.

He was admitted after he consumed an excess amount of sleeping pills on Friday night. “He may be discharged in a day or two,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Sadashivanagar police have registered a case against him under Section 309 of Indian Penal Code for “attempt to suicide”. “We have taken up an investigation. We will know the reason behind his action only after we record his statement,” said a senior police official handling the case.

Mr. Yediyurappa, who visited him at the hospital on Friday night, said he would look into what had pushed him to take such a step and “help him solve any issues” once discharged.

Mr. Santosh’s attempt to end his life has triggered speculations as to what drove him to it. He had played a key role in toppling the the JD(S)-Congress coalition government and bringing Mr. Yediyurappa to power, but had reportedly fallen out with Chief Minister’s son B.Y. Vijayendra later.

However, he made a comeback and was appointed the Chief Minister’s political secretary in May this year. Things went sour again and Mr. Santosh had been asked to relinquish his post, sources said. Mr. Vijayendra, however, has denied these reports and said he had no differences with Mr. Santosh.

On the other hand, sources in the Chief Minister’s family pointed out that Mr. Santosh had marital differences and his wife had also approached the police earlier over domestic abuse. However, his wife Jahnavi, speaking to media persons on Saturday morning, denied they had any differences. “He was under tremendous pressure over the recent political disturbances,” she said.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D.K. Shivakumar sought to link this to an earlier incident involving a controversial video.

In April 2019, senior BJP Minister K.S. Eshwarappa’s then personal assistant Vinay N.S. had sought protection from the Amrutahalli police alleging threat to his life from Mr. Yediyurappa, as he “possessed documents, a pendrive and CD that could ruin his career”. He had also alleged a few rowdies had tried to kidnap him in 2017 at the behest of Mr. Santosh.

Meanwhile Mr. Eshwarappa shot back on being questioned over the issue. “Why are you questioning me over someone’s attempt to end his life? There are over a crore BJP workers in this State,” he said.


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