In a scene directly out of films, an old woman has apparently died after the ambulance in which she was being taken to hospital was stopped for 25 minutes to clear the road for Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's convoy. A video, which could not be verified independently, purportedly shows kin of the old woman arguing and pleading with the police to let the ambulance through, but to no avail.
The video, a copy of which has been uploaded by Asianet, apparently shows the son of the woman telling the police to let the ambulance through, and even getting somewhat violent in the process. However, the police seem unmoved, and held up the traffic flow for 25 minutes for the chief minister's convoy to pass.
The video also shows people shouting at Siddaramaiah's car as it passes by. Only after it has passed is the traffic allowed to resume. The woman apparently was declared dead on arrival when the ambulance finally reached the hospital, in what could easily have been a scene out of numerous Bollywood flicks like Salman Khan-starrer "Jai Ho" or the Anil Kapoor-starrer Nayak. The incident is said to have taken place on Saturday, June 25.
In the eye of the storm
This, incidentally, is not the first time Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has been embroiled in a controversy in recent times.
First, he was accused of graft after sporting a Rs. 70-lakh Hublot watch. It turned into a huge political row, despite the Karnataka chief minister claiming that he had been gifted the watch by a Gulf-based businessman. The case is currently being investigated by the local Anti-Corruption Bureau.
Next, he was accused of changing his car after news channels in the state showed videos of a crow sitting on it. He may have denied the accusations, saying the old car had already travelled two lakh km and that was why he needed a new one, but rumours still persist that it was changed because crows are considered ill-luck.
The most recent of the controversies involves Siddaramaiah being kissed on the cheek by a 32-year-old newly-elected Panchayat member at a programme in Bangalore. He would go on to see the public display of affection like that of a child to her father.