Sriramulu finally attends meeting in Vidhana Soudha

 
It is not known whether the CM took the minister to task for not attending meetings or visiting hospitals in the face of a health crisis in the State. But the media did not spare the mine owner-turned-minister.

The minister’s presence was the highlight of the emergency review meeting. When asked why he was away from the capital, Sriramulu defended himself saying he had addressed the media in Bellary and Kollegal. He also insisted that he was not running away from the situation. “I used to be in touch with my officials regularly. Every half-an-hour I used to get updates and also give them suggestions,” he added.

His reply prompted a journalist to remark, “Why don’t you shift Vidhana Soudha to Bellary?” When the media persisted with the attack, Minister for Medical Education Ramachandra Gowda came to his colleague’s defence. Gowda, known for his short temper, thundered, “You cannot dictate terms like this!”

And in the face of continued onslaught from the television media in particular, Principal Health Secretary I R Perumal came to the minister’s rescue. Perumal, who took it upon himself to be the minister’s human shield, suggested to the minister, “Just tell them that you have gone everywhere and attended all the department meetings.”

Sriramulu also said that henceforth he will stay in Bangalore to monitor his department’s work.

But, immediately after the meeting, Sriramulu, along with Ramachandra Gowda, visited Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology and Karnataka Institute of Diabetology. Both the ministers spent some time at the hospitals.

As many as 150 patients who underwent angioplasty at the Jayadeva hospital were discharged in the presence of ministers. The patients were treated at a five-day workshop conducted by Indo-American company. From there, Sriramulu left for Bellary by a helicopter.

Surprisingly, the ministers did not visit Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases where screening for H1N1 flu is on.  
When asked why Sriramulu did not bother to visit the RGICD, one of his personnel said,

“RGICD does not come under the purview of our minister. It is a teaching hospital, and it is under the jurisdiction of Ramachandra Gowda.”

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