Siddaramaiah denies accusations of favouring son, BS Yeddyurappa hints at legal action

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister K. Siddaramaiah on Thursday rubbished allegations of favouring his son in a government hospital contract, saying everything is legal and transparent.

“Everything is legal and transparent. He is a doctor, he is a pathologist,” he told ANI in Bengaluru.

Karnataka BJP chief B.S. Yeddyurappa, however, accused Siddaramaiah of misusing his power.

“It is a big offence, legal action will be initiated,” the former chief minister told the media here.

Meanwhile, the Congress Party came to Siddaramaiah’s defence and said that attempts must not be made to defame the state government.

Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, said the Chief Minister has explained his position on the issue.

“And his son has also told that if it is illegal (then) I don’t want to participate, I will withdraw from the company. He clearly told this. It means there is no hanky panky. Even if some people have doubt, he himself has said that I am ready to withdraw myself from that,” Kharge said.

“So, such things should not be made unnecessarily just to defame the government and the Congress Party,” he added.

The Karnataka Chief Minister has come under the scanner over his younger son Dr. Yathindra being permitted to set up lab and diagnostic facility at government-run hospitals in alleged violation of the code of conduct for ministers.

“After taking office, and so long as he remains in office, the minister shall: ensure that the members of his family do not start, or participate in, business concerns, engaged in supplying goods or services to that government (excepting in the usual course of trade or business and at standard or market rates) or dependent primarily on grant of licenses, permits, quotas, leases, etc., from that government,” states one of the provisions for the code of conduct for ministers.

The lab, which is reportedly set to open at the end of this month, will be run in partnership with Matrix Imaging Solutions India Private Limited in which Siddaramiah’s son Dr. Yathindra is a director.

Matrix Imaging was awarded the tender in October last year despite objections from many heads of department at the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) and questions over the emergence of the company as the lowest bidder.