Members of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors during a protest to show solidarity with their counterparts in West Bengal.(PTI photo)
NEW DELHI: The impasse inWest Bengalshowed signs of easing on Sunday as theagitating doctorsagreed on a meeting with CMMamata Banerjee, but with a condition that it should open media coverage.
Talking to the media after a two-and-half-hour meeting of their governing body, a spokesperson of the joint forum of junior doctors said, “We are ready to end this agace.” Minister at a venue of his choice, provided it is held in the open, in the presence of media persons, and not behind closed doors. “
Banerjee, during a press conference at the state secretariat on Saturday, had urged the agitators to resume work and said her government has accepted all their demands.
The spokesperson said the venue should be spacious enough to accommodate representatives from all medical colleges and hospitals in the state.
“We want to join our duties as early as possible in the best interests of the common people, once all our demands are met with adequately and logically through a discussion
“We are hopeful that the Chief Minister will be considerate enough to solve the problems,” he said, adding that the strike will continue till a solution was done.
The doctors had earlier on Saturday evening turned down an invitation for a closed-door meeting with Banerjee at the state secretariat and instead asked her to visit theNRS Medical College and Hospitalfor an open discussion to resolve the impasse.
The Ministry of Home Affairs also issued an advisory seeking a report on the stir. But she responded sharply to it and said such advisory should be “sent to states like Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat where many murders were reported from the last couple of years”.
She also said that her government has not invoked theEssential Services Maintenance Act(ESMA) even after five days of the strike by the junior doctors.
“We have the laws, but we do not want to use them … We are not going to take any action against any of the agitating junior doctors and hamper their career,” she told a news conference after the agitators did not turn up for a meeting
The strike started on Monday night when two junior doctors of NRS hospital were injured in an attack by relatives, who died.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan also asked states to consider enacting specific legislation for protecting doctors and medical professionals.
Patients in Delhi faced hardships for the second consecutive day as protest by doctors, in solidarity with their striking colleagues in Kolkata, spread to several government hospitals, which could not join a nationwide stir on June 14.
The opposition BJP, CPM and Congress in Bengal lashed out at Banerjee “For not being able to solve the impasses over doctor’s strike” and asked her to resolve the crisis.
(With agency inputs) In Video:Have accepted all the demands of protesting doctors, they must rejoin service, says Mamata Banerjee