Bengaluru streets saw posters alleging Rs 2000-crore COVID equipment Scam

Several posters have emerged over-night across Bengaluru alleging the Karnataka state government’s involvement in the Rs. 2000 crore scam in COVID equipment procurement.

Designed like a film poster titled ‘Sounkitha Sarkara’ meaning ‘unsuccessful government’ the posters read names of eminent ministers in the state government, like Cheif minister Yediyurappa, Deputy Cheif minister C N Ashwath Narayan and Medical education and COVID control Minister Dr. K Sudhakar.

Former Karnataka chief minister and leader of the opposition Siddaramiah in a press meet two months back had claimed to have documents to prove his allegations of a Rs 2,000-crore scam in the procurement of Covid-related medical equipment by the B.S. Yediyurappa government.

He has demanded a judicial inquiry into the alleged funds swindling in purchases of equipment. Siddaramaiah added that the BJP government has indulged in corrupt practices in purchasing equipment like masks, ventilators, sanitisers, beds, PPE kits and thermal scanners.

According to the documents shared by the leader, the cost price of 1,000 ventilators is Rs 4 lakh per piece, which should have cost the Karnataka government Rs 40 crore. The Yediyurappa government, however, paid Rs 120 crore for the same number of ventilators, Siddaramaiah alleged.

He said the documents also indicated that the Karnataka government bought ventilators at three different prices — Rs 5.6 lakh, 12.32 lakh and 18.2 lakh — on three different dates.

Another allegation was regarding PPE kit Siddaramaiah said the state purchased 9.6 lakh kits of which 3 lakh were purchased from a Chinese firm for Rs 2117 each. The same kit was available in the market for 330 each.

Five ministers involved in the pandemic response namely Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Deputy chief minister Dr Ashwath Narayan, Revenue Minister R Ashok, Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar, and Labour Minister Shivaram Hebbar have denied all the allegations.

The posters appeared overnight on walls across Bengaluru ahead of the beginning of the 8-day monsoon session of the Karnataka legislative assembly that began today.

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