MANGALURU: Union minister DV Sadananda Gowda found himself at the receiving end of the demonetisation move on Tuesday. A private hospital refused to accept from him scrapped currency notes worth around Rs 2 lakh, which he had given to settle the hospital bills of his younger brother D V Bhaskar Gowda. His brother had died in KMC Hospital after a brief illness.
After completing all formalities, Gowda was handed over a bill of around Rs 2 lakh. He had arranged for the cash after asking his associates and handed it over to the hospital staff. But the counter clerk refused to accept the cash saying the hospital had stopped taking demonetised notes. This infuriated his supporters and there was exchange of words between them and hospital staff. Gowda had to intervene to pacify them. He then wrote a cheque, which was also accepted only after the staff got instructions from their seniors.
The private hospital authorities explained they have not been authorised to accept old notes. “The hospital authorities did not accept the old notes as they were briefed to do so in the wake of demonetisation. When the minister wanted us to admit this in writing, we obliged. Finally, the minister gave us cheque, which we accepted,” said Sagir Siddique, a corporate department staff at the multi-speciality hospital.
The minister said he would complain to the health department against the hospital for not accepting the demonetised notes. However, in reality, the Centre has authorised only government hospitals to accept old notes till November 24. Private hospitals cannot accept demonetised currency.
Later Gowda, along with family and party workers, left with the body to their hometown Mandekolu in Sullia taluk, about 80 km away. Gowda, who is minister for statistics and programme implementation, could not be contacted.