New Delhi: The Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal finds itself cornered from all sides as on June 15, with striking junior doctors in the state first rejecting her offer on Friday to meet her at the state secretariat Nabanna and now AIIMS issuing a 48-hour ultimatum to her.
The Resident Doctors Association of AIIMS on Saturday issued a statement that read, “We issue an ultimatum of 48 hours to West Bengal Govt to meet demands of the striking doctors there, failing which we would be forced to resort to an indefinite strike at AIIMS.”
The standoff between the protesting Bengal doctors and the chief minister seems to be far from nearing its end with the AIIMS body now leading a solidarity fight with its Bengal counterparts.
Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Friday also called for a nationwide strike on June 17, while demanding safe working conditions for doctors. The IMA also launched a three-day pan-India protest, beginning Friday to express solidarity with the junior doctors agitating against the assault of their colleague in Kolkata.
“All non-essential services including OPD will be withdrawn for 24 hours starting 6 a.m. on Monday. The emergency and casualty services, however, will continue to function,” said R.V. Asokan, Secretary General of IMA.
The flareup comes after Banerjee visited SSKM Hospital on Thursday and gave the doctors a four-hour deadline to withdraw their strike and normalise the services at the hospitals. She also threatened to use the Essential Services Maintenance Act and warned of “strong action” if the strikers miss the deadline. In addition, the West Bengal Chief Minister alleged a political conspiracy with the BJP and the CPI-M hand in glove in the protests, and dubbed the agitators “outsiders”, “BJP workers and CPI-M cadre”.