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K’taka CM faces flak as son permitted to run lab in govt hospitals

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has come under fire over his younger son being permitted to set up lab and diagnostic facility at government-run hospitals in alleged violation code of conduct for Ministers. 

The lab will be run in partnership with Matrix Imaging Solutions India Private Limited, in which Siddaramiah’s son Yathindra Siddaramaiah is a director.

The CM has, however, denied any wrongdoing, saying, “He (his son) is a doctor by profession. His friend is having a company. He is one of the directors. 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.” 

The issue snowballed into a controversy as Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council KS Eshwarappa of the BJP demanded a probe into the matter. “Just because he is the CM’s son there is nothing that he should not work. But, whoever it is, the tender has to be as per law and rules,” Eshwarappa said.

“The Chief Minister has already said that it is as per rules. So let there be investigation on this”, he said.

The code of conduct for Ministers (both Union and state) says: “After taking office, and so long as he remains in office, the Minister shall ensure that 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.” 

The code, posted on government website, also states that the Minister shall report the matter to the PM, or the CM as the case may be, if any member of his family sets up, or joins in the conduct and management of, any other business.
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