Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], July 23 (ANI): The opposition party Congress on Thursday demanded a judicial enquiry in the alleged scam in coronavirus related medical equipment procurement by Karnataka government.
However, Deputy chief minister Ashwathnarayan and Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai denied all the allegations.
Leader of Opposition (LoP) and former Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar addressed a press conference here and demanded a judiciary enquiry under a sitting High Court judge to investigate "BJP's Corona Scams."
"I made allegations on July 3. Nobody has denied it officially. On July 20, Karnataka Health Minister B Sriramulu and Deputy Chief Minister Ashwathnarayan in a press conference denied my allegations. Today, I furnished 14 documents. If you go through it, you will find corruption and misappropriation in medical equipment purchase," Siddaramaiah said.
"The documents are available with the government, how can they deny their own documents. They are telling that they have spent only Rs 324 crore but according to me the government has spent more than Rs 4,000 crore and nearly Rs 2,000 crore went in the minister and bureaucrats' pockets," he said.
He further said, "Centre has procured 50,000 ventilators under PM Cares at a cost of Rs 4, lakh per unit. Tamil Nadu has procured at Rs 4.78 lakh. But in our state, the price is between Rs 5.6 lakh to Rs 18.2 lakh. Is this not corruption?"
Siddaramaiah also dared the government to step up for an enquiry if they are "honest and transparent".
"I am demanding, constitute a judicial committee headed by sitting high court judge, let there be an enquiry in detail," he said.
DK Shivakumar said that his party has made the allegations based on government documents and media reports showing corruption.
"Karnataka government is purchasing equipment at high rates. We have exposed BJP's Rs 2,000 crore scams today. The government's main focus is to loot. They have paralysed the state administration," he said.
Denying the Congress' allegations, Deputy Chief Minister, Ashwathnarayan said that the government is ready to discuss this in the Assembly house.
"They have alleged Rs 700 crore misappropriation by health department but we have shown we have spent only Rs 290 crore," he said.
Giving details of the SDRF expenditure towards COVID-19 containment he said, "We have released Rs. 23,220.01 lakh in SDRF accounts and they have spent Rs Rs. 15, 918.99 lakh in various activities like migrant relief measures, measures for quarantine, sample collection, screening from March 14 to July 16."
Karnataka Home Minister, Basavaraj Bommai, said, "Karnataka government has spent Rs 506 crores for medical equipment and Rs 1,611 crores for other activities related to combatting COVID-19. So, we have spent Rs 2,117 crores as of now and there is no corruption in it." (ANI)