This Article is From Apr 16, 2016

Karnataka Chief Minister K Siddaramaiah's Son Resigns After Row Over Tender

Karnataka Chief Minister K Siddaramaiah's Son Resigns After Row Over Tender
Bangalore: Karnataka Chief Minister K Siddaramaiah's son Yathindra has quit as director of a company that the opposition alleges was favoured for a government contract because of his VIP connections.

Mr Siddaramaiah and his son say the private diagnostic company, Matrix Imaging Solutions, won the government hospital's contract for diagnostic labs as it was the lowest bidder. The company is owned by a friend of Mr Yathindra, who is a pathologist.

"I do not feel there was any illegality in the process. The tender was granted on merit. Ours was the lowest bid," Mr Yathindra had earlier told NDTV, also adding, "I do not participate in the tender process. As a pathologist, I manage the path lab. I never asked my father to put any pressure on hospital authorities."

He had also said that "If it affects my father I will step down. I also do not want the company to suffer because of me."

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh, who has charge of Karnataka, had said yesterday that there was no illegality and that "the process was absolutely transparent and open to scrutiny." But the senior leader had also said in words that carried weight, that "at a personal level" he had asked Mr Yathindra to quit the company.

Mr Yathindra had rejected the Opposition's charge that he has violated a code of conduct for ministers that disallows their family members to be connected with government contracts. He says that the rule only applies to spouses, minor children and relatives dependent on the minister.

"What allegations? He is a doctor by profession. His friend has a company in which he is one of the directors. They have participated in the tender and their's is the lowest bid. It is service to the people. There is no money involved from the government. It is totally transparent," said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah