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‘Humiliated’ mayor drags hospital row into House

Despite Speaker Hashim Abdul Halim’s plea to “give up the case”, city mayor and Trinamul Congress MLA Subrata Mukherjee brought a privilege motion against SSKM Hospital’s surgeon superintendent Debdwaipayan Chatterjee in the Assembly on Monday. Admitting the motion, Halim said he will ask the government to submit a report on the matter.

Moving the motion during the first half of the session, Mukherjee said he had never moved such a motion against any government servant or police officer during his political career spanning 30 years.

Elaborating on his case, Mukherjee said he had requested the surgeon superintendent to admit a journalist suffering from brain cancer. “I had contacted him over the telephone and he responded five days after I made the request. Even then, some journalists accompanying their colleague told me that they had to wait for four hours to meet the superintendent. I had gone to the hospital to pay my last tribute to Annada Shankar Roy, when the journalists told me that the patient was yet to be admitted,” Mukherjee said.

Later, the journalist was admitted but died within two days. “I was shocked, as the superintendent did not show me any courtesy due to an elected people's representative,” Mukherjee claimed, adding that nonetheless, the superintendent had given him a written apology.

The Speaker requested the mayor to give up the case as the surgeon superintendent had already apologised. “We usually give up any privilege motion once the man concerned tenders an apology. In this case, the surgeon superintendent has tendered an apology and you should give up the case,” Halim added. But Mukherjee insisted on being allowed to bring in the motion.

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