On June 18, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked her party leaders to return the “cut money”, or illegal commissions, they had allegedly collected from people to “facilitate” various government schemes.
The Indian Express spoke to residents in 12 villages across Hooghly, Bardhaman and Birbhum, to find a deep sense of anger and despair at the “system”, which is so well entrenched that there are “fixed rates” for specific schemes, ranging from Rs 200 to Rs 25,000.
“I have accepted all your suggestions. I will request you to return to work. We are proud of our doctors. Attacks on doctors will not be tolerated. But not all relatives of patients are bad, only a small section gets agitated after a mishap," Mamata Banerjee said.
The latest decision by the agitating doctors comes a day after they refused to meet the Chief Minister at the state secretariat. The doctors had earlier refused to attend meetings called by Banerjee on Friday and Saturday.
Following Sayeed’s death, clashes broke out between the junior doctors and the relatives of the patient, leaving one doctor critically injured. Soon after the violence, junior doctors at the hospital initiated cease-work which got support from doctors in 13 state-run hospitals across the state.
This is the state’s showpiece hospital — it houses the Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (IPGMER), has a sanctioned bed strength of 1775, several departments, OPDs, special clinics, organ transplant facilities.
Mamata Banerjee gave an ultimatum to agitating junior doctors saying that strong action would be taken against them if they do not get back to work promptly. But junior doctors and interns vowed to continue their “ceasework” until their demands for security were met.
"Since I am the only one who is exposing their dangerous game plan, they have started to send advisories. Our chief secretary has replied to that. The BJP is trying to sell democracy," Mamata Banerjee said.
Mamata Banerjee said the swearing-in ceremony was an “august occasion to celebrate democracy” and not one that should be “devalued” by any political party which uses it as an opportunity to score political points.
The Trinamool, on its part, accused the BJP of grabbing some of its party offices overnight in different parts, and claimed that the saffron party is helping the Marxists reopen their party offices, an allegation denied by both opposition parties in the state.