The political war between the two former associates, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, turned murkier with the latter stripping the powers of Dr C N Manjunath, director of Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research.
Dr Manjunath, a cardiologist and surgeon, is Gowda’s son-in-law and has been the director of the institute since 2006.
Sources in the government said the CM, who fell apart with Gowda in 2006, decided to strip Dr Manjunath of his powers and appoint Dr N M Prasad, a close friend of PWD Minister H C Mahadevappa, as it would indirectly hit at his mentor-turned-political rival.
Dr Prasad has been given all powers vested with the director while Dr Manjunath has been reduced to a notional head. An order in this regard, however, is said to have been issued late on Monday night.
Dr Manjunath was not available for comment. His office staff, however, termed this as a mere rumour spread by a sacked employee C M Eshwara.
A release by Dr Manjunath on Tuesday stated that Eshwara, a special officer and in-charge administrative officer, has been relieved of all his posts with effect from September 29.
Sources in the hospital said action was being taken against Eswhar as there were “complaints” against the officer.
The release further said the institute would not be responsible for any correspondence made by Eshwara on behalf of the institute. Gowda, however, has not reacted to the “political vengence” by the CM. Dr Manjunath’s brother-in-law H D Kumaraswamy, however, asked why the CM was targetting his relatives.
“If the CM has any grouse against us, let him take revenge on us. Why is he targetting our relatives?’’ he asked. It is said that Dr Manjunath always remained aloof from the political family. Some Congress leaders are said to be not happy with the way in which he was stripped of his powers.
Jayadeva Institute, an autonomous body, is governed by a board of directors headed by the CM and the Health Minister is its member.