Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's image took another hit when his security personnel were accused of stopping an ambulance again, this time forcing a woman patient to walk the last hundred metres to reach the hospital.
The incident follows a series of similar ones dating back to 2015, all involving the Chief Minister's convoy stopping ambulances citing security as a reason.
The latest incident was reported from Nagamangala in Karnataka's Mandya district, where part of the road was blocked for the Chief Minister's convoy to pass through. When the ambulance reached the spot, it was caught behind the barricades put up by the Chief Minister's security.
Citing security as the reason, the ambulance was not allowed to pass through.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was headed to participate in the foundation stone laying ceremony of Kanaka Bhavana in Nalamangala when the ambulance was allegedly made made to stop, neglecting the condition of the patient.
Relatives of the patient were asked to step down from the ambulance and walk the last few hundred metres to the hospital reported Daijiworld.
Here are some of the times the Chief Ministerâ€™s convoy â€“ and that of other VVIPs â€“ blocked an ambulance in Karnataka:
1. August 15, 2015
Not one, not two, but three ambulances were stalled at Gayatri Vihar in Bengaluru to make way for the Chief Ministerâ€™s convoy which was headed to a wedding. When this happened, a traffic warden put up a social media post, lamenting, â€śI feel disappointed that despite being a traffic warden I could not do much to help three ambulance pass when the traffic was stopped so the Karnataka Chief Minister Siddharamaiahâ€™s vehicle could pass.â€ť
â€śI even approached and requested the CMâ€™s security police jeep that was coming from Gayatri Vihar to allow the ambulances to pass, but they just pushed me and went ahead. The ambulance had to wait for more 20 minutes. I asked for the name of the inspector and he said it was Nagalingaiah. 'Do whatever you want, we came here for CM's duty, not to allow ambulances to be' he told me",â€ť the warden, HM Sathyanarayana, an employee of Yelahanka-based Federal Mogul volunteering for the Traffic Wardens Organisation.
2. June 29, 2016
Last year in June, an ambulance was held up in a traffic jam for almost 30 minutes to make way for Siddaramaiah's convoy on Bengaluru-Chintamani highway. A video of the incident, where some men were seen pleading with the police to let the ambulance pass, went viral on social media. When asked about the issue, he CM reportedly said, â€śI don't know anything. Central range IG will inquire into the case."
3. February 16, 2017
Earlier this year on February 16, an ambulance with a critical patient on board was stuck for nearly 30 minutes at a traffic signal near Hoskote to make way for the Chief Ministerâ€™s convoy. Siddaramaiah was in Hoskote to unveil a statue of Sangoli Rayanna and launch some development projects.
4. May 2, 2017
Siddaramaiahâ€™s convoy was headed to Ravindra Kalakeshtra on JC road for Bhagiratha Jayanthi celebrations at around 6.45 pm. An ambulance was stopped on the road for several minutes to make way for the Chief Minister. He drew severe flak for the incident, after which Siddaramaiah promised that such incidents will not repeat again.
â€śI was not aware of the incident (of traffic police stopping an ambulance). I learnt about it from the media reports. I had directed the police not to stop ambulances. Still the incident has happened unexpectedly,â€ť Deccan Herald quoted Siddaramaiah as saying.
5. May 8, 2017
However, just days after that promise, another ambulance was blocked in Bengaluru for VVIP movement. This time, the man at the centre of controversy was then state Home Minister G Parameshwara. An ambulance carrying a patient, who had suffered a cardiac arrest, was stopped on Queens Road, as several Congress leaders including Parameshwara were gathered outside the KPCC office on the road to welcome the new state party-in charge, KC Venugopal.