Bengaluru, May 7: BJP Yuva Morcha national president and Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya has rubbished reports that he apologised to those working at a municipal covid war room in Bengaluru.
Mr Surya, who is known for provocative remarks, had visited the facility on Tuesday and broadcast the video live, reading out the names of 16 Muslim staff who he accused of corruption in the allocation of hospital beds as the city and Karnataka struggles with a massive spike in covid infections.
The MP’s attempt to give communal tinge to ‘bed allotment scam’, however, evoked a backlash after it came to light that his allegation against Muslim staff was false.
Fact checks over the claims that these 16 Muslim members of the war room were involved in a bed allocation scam led to a deadend, as only one of these 16 was part of the team of bed allocation — and he had joined it temporarily just last week to replace another employee who had a personal emergency at home. The other 15 — most of them young graduates in their early twenties — were members of other teams involved in indexing, home isolation supervision and discharge of patients who finished quarantine period.
On Thursday, Mr Surya once again visited the covid war room. Several news portals reported that the MP tendered apology for levelling false allegations.
“My employees called me to say that Surya had visited the war room. He apparently told them ‘I have nothing personal against any of you. If anyone or any community is hurt emotionally by my visit, I apologise for that. I wanted to probe the bed allocation scam which had come to my notice, but if my actions had hurt anyone, please accept my apologies,’ he told the staff," said Shivu Naik, project manager of the Crystal Infosystems and Services, the agency that had hired and delegated manpower for the hurried war rooms of the BBMP.
“Those 16 were part of a 212-member team deployed at BBMP for various tasks — and there was no reason why they were targeted,” Naik was quoted as saying by news18.
According to The News Minute, Mr Surya on Thursday (May 5) revisited the Bengaluru South COVID War Room at around 7 pm, and apologised to the 200-odd people working there. “About the numbers that were leaked? I’m saying from our side, I’m really sorry. This was not our intention. We didn’t know that they would get leaked. That’s not in our hands... I was given a list, and told these are the people who work here who were removed for such-and-such reasons. I just read out the list. That list just had these names. I read them out and asked why these people — how these people were hired — all this happened in front of you. There are many things here I don’t want to get into all that with you,” the MP was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Mr Surya today took to social media to rubbish the reports about his apology. "When one has no news, they create fake news," his office posted on Twitter, responding to the news reports.