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Docs defy Mamata’s request to resume duty, end protest

You must show some respect to the constitutional body: WB CM

KOLKATA: Agitating junior doctors on Saturday turned down Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s appeal to end their stir and resume duty, saying there was no honest effort on her part to break the deadlock. 
“We are eagerly waiting to rejoin our duty, but from the Chief Minister’s side there is no honest initiative to find a solution (of the ongoing problem),” a spokesperson of the joint forum of junior doctors told reporters after CM appealed to protestors to return to work.
Earlier, the doctors turned down the invite for a closed-door meeting with 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.
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.
Banerjee said on Saturday that the West Bengal government had not invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) even after five days of strike by the junior doctors and appealed to them to immediately rejoin service.
“We have the laws, but we do not want to use them. We are not going to take any stringent action against any of the agitating junior doctors and hamper their career,” she said.
Banerjee said the government had not taken any tough action against them as she does not want to hamper their careers. She said the state government had accepted all the demands of the doctors and was ready to accept more, but she added that they must resume work.
“On Friday, I waited for the junior doctors for five hours. And today, I cancelled all my programmes for them. You must show some respect to the constitutional body,” she said.
Meanwhile, resignation by senior doctors continued in support of their protesting colleagues. Over 300 medicos across various state-run medical college and hospitals have resigned from their services.
Take steps: Guv
West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi Saturday wrote to Banerjee advising her to take immediate steps to provide security to medicos and find out a solution to the impasse rising out of junior doctors’ agitation across the state.
Banerjee later said that she has spoken to the governor and apprised him about the steps taken by the state government to resolve the impasse in hospitals.
Tripathi advised her to take the doctors into confidence about the arrangements of their security as well as the progress of investigation into the incidents of assault on them.
It will help create a suitable atmosphere and “enable the doctors to resume their duties”, the governor’s letter read. Tripathi had on Friday said that he tried to contact the chief minister to discuss the issue of junior doctors’ agitation but got no response from her. (PTI) 

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