Days after ‘raiding’ the BBMP South Zone COVID War Room, videos of BJP MLA Satish Reddy have emerged from the Bommanahalli war room in Bengaluru, where the MLA is seen arguing with a health official — all while his aides are seen manhandling the official. Satish Reddy was one of the three BJP MLAs who gave a press conference along with BJP MP Tejasvi Surya on Tuesday, alleging a bed blocking scam in the BBMP. The IAS Officers’ Association, Karnataka, has condemned the incident, and revealed that the manhandling was because the IAS officer refused to hand over beds to the MLA’s representatives.
In the videos from Bommanahalli that have now emerged Satish Reddy can be seen leaning against a railing in a corridor and waving his hand at the health official, identified as IAS officer V Yashavantha, while a woman who is reportedly his aide pushes the health official multiple times. Satish Reddy makes no attempt to stop the woman, as the health official is pushed back in the crowded corridor where several people are heard screaming at the man. In other videos from the incident, the crowd can be heard accusing the BBMP of not giving enough beds for the Bommanahalli zone.
“There are no beds anywhere — in Apollo, Fortis, or Manipal. Where should we send patients? Already 18 people have died,” Satish Reddy says at one point. In another instance, one of the people in the crowd is heard shouting, “People come to our doorsteps in the middle of night asking for beds, but BBMP is doing nothing.”
Condemning the incident, the IAS Officers’ Association, Karnataka said, “Shri V Yashavantha was part of a team of officers who had obtained additional hospital beds from private hospitals. By initiating action in accordance with the law, the team of officers had obtained beds from the private hospitals. When pressure was brought upon the officer to yield the additional beds to the representatives of the Honorable Member of the Legislative Assembly (Satish Reddy), this was not agreed to. As a result of this, Shri V Yashavantha was manhandled and abused in public, with a video available as evidence of the incident.”
“The Association strongly protests against the incident and requests that police action should be taken in accordance with law by booking an FIR against those found guilty of manhandling the officer and preventing him from the discharge of his duties,” the statement said.
After the videos went viral, former Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah tweeted demanding the arrest of Satish Reddy and his supporters for disrupting the functioning of the war room.
Few days before @Tejasvi_Surya 'raided' the BBMP War-room,— Srivatsa (@srivatsayb) May 7, 2021
Satish Reddy (BJP MLA who was with Tejasvi during the raid) & his supporters had manhandled IAS officer Yashwant at the same war-room!
IAS Yashwant had caught MLA's agents red-handed in Bed allocation Scam! pic.twitter.com/SqAFBHMDGg
Mr. @CMofKarnataka,— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) May 7, 2021
Is it an elected govt that is in power or is it the goonda govt that is run by supporters of @BJP4Karnataka MLAs?
Arrest MLA & his supporters who disrupted the functioning of Bommanahalli War room.#ArrestBJPMLASatish pic.twitter.com/I8i77lyvYU
Meanwhile, Satish Reddy himself has been accused of being a part of the bed blocking racket by the Congress. The Hindu reported that Congress leader DK Shivakumar has asked the crime branch to investigate Satish Reddy’s call records. In his defence, Satish Reddy reportedly said that while his office has called the Bommanahalli war room to get beds allotted for people, he was just doing his duty as an MLA and that this couldn’t be called ‘bed blocking’.