Siddaramaiah’s son quits firm over nepotism charge

Bengaluru, Apr 16, 2016, PTI: As political pressure mounted on Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah over nepotism charge, his son has resigned from a firm that was given a contract to set up lab and diagnostic facility at a government-run hospital here.

Amid Opposition attack and advice from the Congress High Command, the Chief Minister’s doctor son Yathindra Siddaramaiah tendered his resignation as director of Matrix Imaging Solutions India Private Limited.

Yathindra said in a message to the media, “By the way, I am quitting Matrix (Imaging Solutions India).”

The resignation comes amid reports that the Congress high command was unhappy with the development, which was snowballing into a major controversy with the Opposition questioning the contract to the company owned by Yathindra’s friend, a pathologist, in which he is a partner.

Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh, in charge of party affairs in Karnataka, had openly said yesterday that he had suggested to Siddaramaiah that his son quit the company.

Singh had, however, maintained that the entire process was “totally transparent” with the contract given to the lowest bidder. He had denied reports that he had asked the Chief Minister to order an enquiry into the matter.

“I have only advised that he withdraws. It is not an order, but an advice. Legally, the son does not have to quit. As a (matter of) propriety, he may,” Singh had said.

Unfazed by the controversy, both Siddaramaiah and Yathindra had been maintaining that there was no wrongdoing on their part.

Yathindra had alleged that a group of doctors at government-run Victoria Hospital, where the facility was to come up, were raking up the controversy as it would cause a loss to those who were sending the patients for outside reference to get commission in cash.

He had also maintained that his company did not put any pressure on hospital authorities to follow procedures that suited them in order to win the contract. Siddaramaiah had said that his son was a doctor who was a director in a company owned by his friend.

“They had participated in the tender. They are the lowest bidder. It is for service to the people, there is no money involved from the government,” he had said.

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