The Ministry of Home Affairs has sought reports from the West Bengal government over the issue of Doctors’ strike. The Ministry, headed by Amit Shah, also has asked the West Bengal government to ensure the security of the doctors and has further sought clarification on the political violence in the state.
The two-part advisory issued by the home ministry focuses on the deteriorating law and order situation in the state, the political violence as well as the ongoing strike of the healthcare professionals. “This Ministry is in receipt of a number of representations from doctors, health care professionals and medical associations from different parts of the country for their safety and security in view of the ongoing strike by doctors in West Bengal. It is requested that a detailed report be sent urgently on the representations and an ongoing strike by the doctors,” the home ministry advisory read.
On Monday, a mob of nearly 200 people attacked doctors and interns at the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata after the death of Mohammed Sayeed. While doctors claim that Mohammed was 85 years old and died due to natural causes, the family of the deceased thought otherwise. In response to the lackluster attitude of West Bengal administration in providing security to the doctors, the medical professionals soon went on strike. Mamata Banerjee, however, refused to abandon her appeasement politics even in this case and even chastised the doctors.
However, barely hours after the notification from MHA, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stated in a press conference that she has accepted all the demands of agitating junior doctors and appealed to them to return back to work.
West Bengal CM: We've accepted all their demands. I had sent my ministers, principal secy to meet the doctors, waited for 5 hours to meet doctors delegations yesterday & today, but they did not come. You have to give respect to the constitutional body. https://t.co/MzQnUL6iJw
— ANI (@ANI) June 15, 2019
That’s a quite a reversal in attitude after the aggressive and borderline vindictive stance that she took till now. The CM had warned the doctors of police action and even slapping ESMA (Essential services maintenance act), had they continued to protest.
“Health services cannot continue like this. I am not going to take any stringent action. Let good sense prevail”, was Mamata’s earlier statement. She had gone on to state that the state was committed to taking all necessary measures to restore normalcy.
It will be interesting to note, how the agitating doctors will react, earlier they had refused to meet senior ministers and principal secretary sent by Mamata.
For now, the notification from home ministry seems to have done the trick. Mamata may have been able to douse the fire for now because of the way the situation had unfolded, it seemed like curtains for Mamata Banerjee. For now, she and her ministers must exercise caution, listen to the agitating doctors, punish the culprit because Bengal is infamous for equally loving and hating its chief ministers, once they dumped the left, they never really re-adopted it.