Using the hashtag #LekkaKodi, Siddaramaiah poses seven questions to Karnataka government on coronavirus containment

Published : July 13, 2020 11:32 IST

Former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Alleging massive corruption in the funds earmarked for containment of the COVID-19 pandemic in Karnataka, Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of the Indian National Congress party has started a video campaign on social media demanding accountability from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State government. “While on one side, the coronavirus is spreading in an uncontrolled way, on the other side the amount reserved for the treatment is being looted,” Siddaramaiah wrote on his Facebook page, introducing the video campaign. Using the hashtag #LekkaKodi (Kannada for “Show the Expenses”), Siddaramaiah has posed seven questions to the State government in the video.

The questions are: 1. What is the cumulative sum that the State government has spent on measures to control the pandemic and what is the amount granted by the Central government for the same? 2. How much has each department spent on each item? 3. What are the market prices of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, test kits, gloves, sanitisers, thermal scanners, kiosks etc. and at what price and from what companies has the State government procured these items? 4. How many food kits have been distributed so far and what is the expense of each food kit? Provide the accountability at the taluk and ward level. 5. How many food kits and what other essential items have been provided to migrant workers and what is the expense of each kit? 6. What are the various “packages” that have been announced for different sections of society and what is the quantum of fund released for the same? 7. What are the funds allocated for the treatment of COVID-19 patients and how have they been utilised?

In his response, State Health Minister B. Sriramulu said that if Siddaramaiah has documentary evidence of any malpractice, “let him expose us and send us to jail”. Minister for Medical Education Dr. K. Sudhakar said, “Globally there was increased demand for PPE kits, sanitisers, etc. The price that we paid may have been slightly higher because of this higher demand, but there was absolutely no corruption in the procurement of these items by the Health Department.”