Sidda’s Son Resigns, Points Fingers At Doctors Lobby
AICC to Guide Sidda on Cabinet Reshuffle
Yathindra says, “It is very difficult to be Siddaramaiah’s son. I have never taken any help from him”
Bengaluru: Ka r n a t a k a C M Siddaramaiah’s son Dr Yathindra resigned from his post as director at the Matrix Imaging Solutions on Friday, following the controversy over the company getting a tendered contract to run a CT and MRI scan laboratory at the government-runVictoriaHospital,attached to the Bangalore Medical College.
In an exclusive interaction with ET earlier, he pointed a finger at a lobby in the hospital that he said wants to ensure that this lab, which will charge much lessthanthemarketrateforprocedures, is not set up.
The controversy was threatening to snowball into a major problem for Siddaramaiah, with the BJP accusing him of favouring his son in the contract. Congress general secretary incharge of Karnataka Digvijaya Singh advised Siddaramaiah to ask his son to resign fromthepost,whileCongressold-timers in Karnataka including B Janardhan Poojary and K H Muniyappa publicly called the tender an impropriety.
The BJP has also raised a fresh controversy that officials favoured Yathindra’s partner Dr Rajesh Gowda in acquiring land in Bengaluru at low rates.
Yathindra told ET:“Itisverydifficultto be Siddaramaiah’s son. I have never taken any help from him, have studied and builtupmyworkentirelyonmerit.Ihave stayed away from political and public limelight always and am an introvert.”
Yathindra expressed distress that his a c t i o n s we r e reflecting on Siddaramaiah. “My father told me it is up to me to resign or not. I wanted to resign as soon as the controversy broke out, but I was advised against doing this as would look like I am admitting to doing something wrong. I do not want my actions to affect my father politically.”
Yathindra said he suspected that a group of doctors at the Victoria hospital had raked up the controversy. “There is an attempt to stop our project as it will cause a loss for all the people who were sending patients out make commissions. We will be providing facilities at much lower rates than even the Victoria’s existing lab. We are running a 24x7 lab at Jayadeva hospital in Mysuru successfully and we participated in that tender just like this one...,” he stated.
Hesaidthathe tookadecisiontobepart of Matrix along with Rajesh Gowda, a radiologist, as the company needed a pathologist. “I joined them in 2014 and at thattime,ItoldmyfatherthatIwasgoing to be part of some bids for government hospital projects, which is what the company has been doing from 2009. We were not aware that there was any model code of conductthatstoppedmefrombidding. I have checked since and the code says it is applicable for dependents on him, which I am not. Legally, there is nothing wrongwithwhatwehavedone.”
Karnataka’s medical education minister Dr Sharanprakash Patil said he had looked into the bidding process and legal procedures had been followed. “I cannot comment on Dr Yathindra’s resignation, but I cannot cancel the tender given to Matrix, as legally, there is nothing wrong in what has been done. If I stop the lab coming up now, any citizen can file a case demanding to know why a project that gave 24x7 facilities at less than market rates has not been allowed to function. What do I say then?” he told ET.
Along with talks on appointment of a new PCC president in Karnataka, CM Siddaramaiahwill be soon required to reshuffle his cabinet team as well. The AICC will provide inputs to the CM on the changes in Cabinet and he is expected to reach Delhi soon to discuss the matter with the Congress president, said a source.—