Jailed Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Madan Mitra who had lost his post as the Sports and Transport minister earlier, has now lost his only administrative post as well, the chairmanship of Rogi Kalyan Samity or patients’ welfare committee of the College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital.
According to a notification by the West Bengal government’s department of health and family welfare, the new committee has Baranagar TMC MLA Tapas Roy as its new chairman.
Dr Gautam Joardar, Medical Superintendent and vice principal of Sagore Dutta Hospital confirmed the news. “We have been apprised of the change yesterday at a meeting of the health department, through a circular,” he said talking to The Indian Express and refusing to comment further on the issue.
Mitra had earlier been removed as the chairman of a similar committee of state-run SSKM Hospital, and there he had been succeeded by state Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim.
Health department officials said that the move had been made to ease out problems faced by the hospital. “There had been several occasions when hospital authorities had to face inconveniences because Mitra, the chairman of the committee, was behind bars and some approval which was required from him, was not received,” said an official of the health department.
Roy, who has replaced Mitra, talking to The Indian Express said, “I have not been officially informed about it as it was Saturday yesterday and today is also a holiday. If there has been any such decision taken it has been taken by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and officials of the health department. I have nothing to say about it.”
The decision has naturally caused dissatisfaction among Mitra’s supporters. “We believe the party has begun its process to disown Madan da. We fail to understand why he has been ripped off his posts. We have a feeling that he would be made a scapegoat in the Saradha chit fund case for which he has been jailed,” said a Mitra supporter, who is a TMC leader from Kamarhati, the Assembly constituency under Barrackpore sub division from where Mitra had been the MLA, and had unsuccessfully contested the recently concluded Assembly election.
He also said that senior party officials had internally cited the reason of Mitra’s defeat in the election as a reason of his removal, but according to the notification several other TMC leaders who had lost in the election had retained their posts.
Interestingly, former state health minister Chandrima Bhattacharya, who has lost from Dum Dum North constituency, has been made the chairperson of Dr BC Roy Hospital for Children.
Former food processing and horticulture minister, Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury, has lost from English Bazar constituency, but has been reinstated as the chairman of the patients welfare committee of Malda Medical College.
Another minister, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, who has been defeated from Bishnupur constituency, has been removed from the chairmanship of Bankura Medical College, but has been made the chairman of Bishnupur district hospital.
Similarly, Shanta Chhetri and ATM Abdullah, who had been in the fray from Kurseong and Basirhat North constituencies respectively, had lost, but are heading the patients’ welfare committees of Darjeeling District Hospital and Basirhat District Hospital.