New Delhi (DHNS): Congress president Sonia Gandhi conveyed her annoyance to KPCC chief Parameshwara on Friday over the controversy in awarding government contracts to a firm where Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s son is a director.
Taking a serious view of reports that point to cronyism, Sonia told Parameshwara that such episodes raised numerous questions and everyone concerned must act to restore the public’s faith in the system.
According to sources in the Congress, the urgency of the issue was underscored by Sonia’s act of granting immediate appointment to Parameshwara on his arrival from Bengaluru to brief her about the controversy.
The Congress president apparently wanted Siddaramaiah to come “clean” over Matrix Imaging Solutions Pvt Ltd bagging three major government contracts after Siddaramaiah’s younger son Yathindra joined it as a director.
She did not appear to be convinced by arguments advanced by Siddaramaiah and his son that the company won the government hospital’s contract for diagnostic labs as it was the lowest bidder. The company is owned by Yathindra’s friend, who is a pathologist.
Expressing unhappiness over frequent controversies surrounding the chief minister, she reportedly said these incidents have embarrassed the party.
While seeking details about the latest row, the party top brass is also learnt to have said it was high time a full stop was put to such issues which have damaged the prospects of the party.
AICC general-secretary Digvijaya Singh said: “The whole thing is totally transparent. It was the lowest tender by the company. The file never came to the chief minister. I have not asked for an inquiry.”
“I have only advised that he (Yathindra) withdraw from the company. It is not an order, but an advice. Legally, the son does not have to quit. As a (matter of) propriety, he may,” Singh added.
But Parameshwara, who was closeted with Sonia for more than half an hour, denied discussing the issue.
While leaving for Bengaluru, Parameshwara said: “Neither Sonia Gandhi asked about this, nor did I explain anything.”