After a strike of the doctors in West Bengal and then across the country, chief minister Mamata Banerjee without issuing an apology has asked the doctors in the state to end the protest and resume work.
In a press brief, the Trinamool supremo calling for a 'peaceful solution' warned the doctors of arrests, also stating that their demands would be met.
She said, "We want a solution to the situation. We are ready to give assurance. We want the situation to be resolved. It is an unfortunate incident. We are constantly going ahead with our efforts in many ways to ensure we find a solution to the ongoing crisis. When the incident happened at night, the next very day our representative went there. I told the representative that I want to speak to the agitated doctors but they did not talk to me. I never told you about this, I was also humiliated but I never told anybody about this. Then we appealed them to get back to work, we told them the poorest in the state are suffering. Thousands of people are denied treatment because of their protests the poorest of them are dying. Those who are looking at this from one prism should know that doctors, people look at them as Gods and they are supposed to give life. I got the news that a patient is on death bed, I wanted to check if the Emergency ward was open."
"Yes, I got angry, a lot of you said a lot of things, but it was when I got to know a woman is on death bed and she was not given treatment. When I went there, there were sloganeering, I told the Police that don't arrest them. I kept waiting, I called junior doctors to talk, they misbehaved with me but I didn't take it to my heart. I want a solution. I kept waiting for 5 hours and all senior doctors also kept waiting. I canceled all programs and waited for them to come to us," she added.
Furthermore, she claimed that in the BJP and Rajasthan government made arrests in such situations, while she chooses to find a 'peaceful solution'
She said, "I have some information for everyone. It's about the BJP. The BJP had arrested 150 doctors when such a protest had taken place under their government in Delhi, in Rajasthan there was a crackdown on doctors when they were protesting."
"Various state governments have taken steps against doctors when such agitation has taken place, we believe in humanity and democracy. We have not taken any steps, we have not canceled the registration, we have not arrested anyone we have not taken any kind of action, but for how long?"
Reiterating her stand for a peaceful solution, Banerjee complained that the government's call for talks was rejected by those protesting.
She said, "There should be a peaceful solution to this. If they want to talk, they can come and talk, the doors are always open for talks. There are a few constitutional post, when the government is calling you for talks and you say you don't want to come there after the incident I wanted to talk to the students, I wanted to talk to them they didn't want to talk to me."
"The demand that was put before us, we accepted every demand. We also sent doctors of medical education, they were shooed away. When I personally invited them, they didn't come. It is their matter, they have a right to say no. It is an essential service. This government has taken every action possible when the incident took place. We are taking steps. So many cops have been injured in such incidents, we have a law, laws are in place. When the incident happens, 99% we can control the situation but 1% is still out of control," she added.
"If the doctors have any more demands, we are ready to accept those demands. But here is my request, people are suffering doctors must get back to work, there are children who are dying. There is a one-sided narrative by some media outlets. What action did the government take? We have taken every action possible, every demand has been accepted," she added.
The chief minister accused the media of spinning the narrative, furthermore warned them.
She said, "I am not going to take any Police action. If you think I am unable to talk, you can talk to the government. We want a settlement. I request the media, don't provoke me. Let the governor do what he wants, I spoke to the Governor. He is convinced, don't try giving it a Governor versus Chief Minister spin. I will go where I want. It is my prerogative. You can't decide on my schedule. Chief Minister's office is the highest office in the state. Why didn't they come? I waited for 2 hours."
"Five days have passed. I have accepted all the demands. My government assures you all security. Won't take action against any individual, please get back to work. We have a law, we have an act. I will not use it. They are students, even if an FIR is lodged, their career will get affected. I am ready to wait. We know there are some who want to willingly join. Those who want to work will work. I can take action whenever I want but I want to handle the situation in a cool manner," she added.