BENGALURU : Bengaluru South BJP MP Tejasvi Surya appears to have unwittingly opened a Pandora’s box when he recently barged into a BBMP war zone office and castigated the officials, and blamed 17 minority community staffers of operating a bed blocking scam in Bengaluru.
Contrary to this, it is now being alleged that it is BJP MLAs from Bengaluru who had blocked 2,000 beds for their constituents. It is no secret that people continue to die due to shortage of beds and oxygen in Bengaluru.
Surya reportedly apologised for his demeanour later, but stopped short of explaining what the bed blocking scam was all about. While the scam stirred up a great deal of curiosity, it piqued former Chief Minister and JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy enough to carry out his own investigation. Kumaraswamy claims that BJP MLAs had ensured that at least 2,000 beds were blocked for their supporters and constituents across all zones.
He said that around April 18, when cases were multiplying, a meeting was held under the leadership of Revenue Minister R Ashoka, where city BJP MLAs had sought one hundred beds each for people from their constituency. They had finally settled for around 2,000 beds, which were promptly blocked across zones. Each MLA was given a certain number of beds to be allotted to constituents.
This is at the core of the bed blocking scam, which has ensured that the needy have been deprived of beds at a time when Bengaluru cases were peaking. Often, an MLA would not be able to fill up the requisite quota of beds with patients, the former CM alleged. “A proper investigation by the authorities will bring out all the ugly details,” he added.
Kumaraswamy said that a certain Sumanth, said to be Surya’s supporter, would interfere in bed allocation, and this had been confirmed by a source in the government. He also said that a certain person from the BJP had called on behalf of the MP, and asked for beds in well-known hospitals to be reserved for them. One highly-placed source in the government said that Tejasvi Surya had openly sought “20 per cent bed share” in Apollo Hospitals and two other big hospitals in Bengaluru South.
Sources in the government confirmed that BJP leaders were behind the bed blocking scam and those in charge of the eight city zones have blocked beds and continue to do so. One minister had reportedly visited the war room and asked officials to keep aside beds for his constituents. In Bommanhalli Zone, MLA Satish Reddy’s deeds were exposed, but there are many others responsible in the seven other zones, sources said. Reddy and his supporters would interfere in the war room bed allotment process.
In fact, there was a serious altercation between an IAS officer and Reddy’s supporter over this issue recently. After the recent expose, Satish Reddy went on a splurge and got paid advertisements about himself splashed in several publications, seeking to correct his image, sources said. The city has 28 MLAs, with almost an equal number belonging to the BJP and Congress. Not surprisingly, Congress MLAs have repeatedly complained that they are unable to find beds for their constituents.