KOLKATA: Agitating doctors turned down the invite for a closed-door meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat on Saturday, raising apprehension about their security, and instead asked her to visit the NRS Medical College and Hospital for an open discussion to resolve the impasse.
They said no representative of the agitating doctors would be attending the meeting called by Banerjee at the state secretariat on Saturday evening. "We feel highly insecure and apprehensive regarding our representatives' meeting with the chief minister behind closed doors.
That is why we are not sending any representatives to the Chief Minister's Office to attend the meeting," said a spokesperson of the joint forum of junior doctors after holding a governing body meeting. Instead, they invited Banerjee for a meeting at the Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital, where two doctors were allegedly assaulted by relatives of a patient who had died on Monday night.
"We humbly request the chief minister to meet all of us at the NRSMCH to discuss and implement all our demands at the earliest," the spokesperson said. "We are open to a healthy discussion to find a solution to meet our demands. We are deeply concerned about the sufferings of the common people," he added.
On Friday night, the agitating junior doctors declined to attend a meeting called by Banerjee at state secretariat, Nabanna, saying it was a ploy to break their stir. After the protesting doctors did not turn up, Banerjee gave them time again at 5 pm on Saturday.
After the protesting doctors did not turn up on Friday night, Banerjee asked the students to come to Nabanna, the state secretariat, at 5 pm on Saturday, senior physician Sukumar Mukherjee said. Mukherjee along with other senior doctors, who were not part of the agitation, met Banerjee on Friday. They held a two-hour-long meeting with the chief minister at the secretariat to find a solution to the ongoing problem.
Notably, over 300 senior doctors across various state-run medical college and hospitals resigned from their services in solidarity with their agitating colleagues. Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi last evening invited Banerjee to Raj Bhawan for a meeting to resolve the crisis.
Banerjee, however, did not respond. "I tried to contact the chief minister. I called her up. Till this moment there is no response from her. If she calls me up, we will discuss the matter," the governor told reporters after visiting Paribaha Mukhopadhyay, the doctor who was assaulted, at a hospital on Friday night.
Meanwhile, resident doctors of AIIMS and Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi have given a 48-hour ultimatum to Banerjee to meet the demands of the agitating doctors, failing which they said they would go on an indefinite strike.