The cold war that has been ensuing between the Karnataka health minister and the medical education minister escalated on Thursday and reached the chief minister’s doorstep. Highly placed sources in the chief minister’s residence told Republic that B. Sriramulu paid a visit to the CM with complaints against his cabinet colleague.
The Karnataka health minister B. Sriramulu repeatedly complained to Chief Minister Yediyurappa that principal secretary of the health department, Javed Akhtar, is a close aide of Dr K Sudhakar and thus has been briefing the medical education minister ahead of him. With a host of complaints of alleged indiscipline behaviour, Ramulu demanded transfer of the bureaucrat.
According to our source, while the chief minister listened to the complaints by Sreeramulu patiently, he was upset at bringing such ‘trivial issues’ to him when the state is fighting a massive health crisis. Yediyurappa is said to have advised Ramulu to keep his focus on ensuring that the measures announced are implemented and not bring in personal differences at this time, with an assurance that at a later time, inter-departmental problems can be handled.
Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, a tussle for one-upmanship has broken out between the two ministers given charge of handling the pandemic. At the beginning, Sreeramulu was occupied with his daughter’s wedding celebrations which took away a lot of his time and Sudhakar reportedly stepped in to take charge.
But ever since, multiple occasions of discrepancy in information being disbursed by the two ministers has caused confusion and even on Thursday, while Sreeramulu announced the second death due to coronavirus in Karnataka, Sudhakar has stated that the reports were still awaited.
Several such situations have led to murmurs outside of the two ministries and a full-fledged territorial war within. With a medical background, Sudhakar has been spearheading the media statements, eager to prove his worth as a newly minted minister in the Yediyurappa government.
From deviation in age groups of the patients who have tested positive, to their genders and even the total number of cases in the state, over the last few days, the inconsistencies have been glaring with even the press raising questions about whose version is the official one. Karnataka had reported the first death due to the deadly virus, from Kalburgi. So far, a total of 55 cases have been reported from the state including four new ones on Thursday.