Junior Doctors Reject Mamata Banerjee's Offer
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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's offer to hold talks and resolve the doctors' stir in Bengal, which has now spread to other parts of the country, has been rejected by the junior doctors who have called it "a ploy to break the agitation". 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's offer to hold talks and resolve the doctors' stir in Bengal, which has now spread to other parts of the country, has been rejected by the junior doctors who have called it "a ploy to break the agitation". 

Nearly 300 doctors resigned from the government hospitals in the state on Friday amid protests against an attack on their colleagues. The agitation began from Kolkata's NRS Hospital where junior doctor were attacked earlier this week for alleged negligence.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday urged the doctors across the country "to end the strike" and appealed to Ms Banerjee to "not make this a prestige issue".The doctors' protest in Bengal enters the fifth day today. Protesters have set six conditions, including an unconditional apology from Ms Banerjee for her remarks against the agitation and action against those who assaulted their colleague.

Junior doctors in Bengal have rejected Mamata Banerjee's invite to hold talks at Nabanna, the state secretariat. After the first offer for a meeting was declined for Friday evening, Ms Banerjee sent a fresh invite for Saturday evening, which was also rejected. A joint forum of junior doctors called the offer "a ploy to break the agitation".
 
"We won't hold any meeting at the state secretariat. The chief minister has to come to the NRS Medical College and Hospital and deliver an unconditional apology for her statement at the SSKM Hospital," a spokesperson said. Ms Banerjee, however, held a two-hour-long meeting with senior doctors, who were not part of the strike.
 
Ms Banerjee's get-back-to-work deadline of 2 pm on Friday was emphatically ignored amid anger over her remarks she made a day before. The Chief Minister on Thursday said that the protesting doctors at Kolkata's SSKM "abused" her when she visited the hospital. "They can oppose me, they can hurl abuses at me. I don't mind because they are young. I only want them to resume work," she said. She had also blamed "outsiders", and the CPI(M) and the BJP for the agitation.
 
 A delegation of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) met Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan today over the ongoing protests. The country's leading doctors' body launched a four-day nationwide protest on Friday and called a strike on Monday. Calling the attack on doctors "barbaric", the IMA said it will ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to bring out a central law against such violence.
 
In Delhi, doctors at 15 hospitals have joined the protest today, the Federation Of Resident Doctors Association said.
 
The AIIMS Resident Doctors' Association has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Bengal government to end the stalemate. "We issue an ultimatum of 48 hours to West Bengal Govt to meet demands of the striking doctors in Bengal, failing which we would be forced to resort to indefinite strike at AIIMS," the doctors body said in a statement, news agency ANI reported.
 
Union Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday blamed Ms Banerjee for failing to resolve the stalemate. "Instead of taking action against the attackers, she (Mamata Banerjee) gave the doctors an ultimatum, warned and threatened them because of which doctors of West Bengal and across the country are angry," he said, and requested the doctors to end their strike.
 
 Health services were hit across the country on Friday as doctors in different states expressed solidarity with doctors in West Bengal. Doctors in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Assam, Tripura, Goa and Chandigarh took out demonstrations.
 
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a public interest litigation or PIL over the safety and security of doctors in government hospitals across the country. Hearing a similar case, the Calcutta High Court asked the West Bengal government to end the impasse and respond to the petition in seven days.
 
West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi last night said he called up the chief minister to discuss the issue but there was "no response" from her. Earlier, a team of BJP leaders met the governor and demanded Ms Banerjee's resignation.