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Trinamul office in Burdwan hospital

- Union room on campus for decades

Burdwan, Dec. 16: A faction of a Trinamul-affiliated employees’ union in Burdwan Medical College and Hospital has been allegedly occupying a room opposite the emergency ward for several years.

The matter came to light after another faction of the INTTUC-affiliated union put up flex banners with the picture of chief minister Mamata Banerjee in the hospital compound on November 7, which led to a tussle between the two groups and prompted one to accuse the other of illegally occupying hospital space.

Sources said the Congress started the union office inside the hospital room in 1978 under local leader Samir Chakraborty. After Mamata launched Trinamul Congress in the 1990s, Chakraborty switched over to Trinamul.

Chakraborty had last month protested the way the members of the other faction of the INTTUC-run employees’ union, led by Gajanan Saha, put up flex banners with pictures of Mamata in the compound. Saha retaliated by accusing Chakraborty of illegally occupying hospital space for so many years.

Saha wrote to hospital superintendent Asitbaran Samanta, asking why he allowed Chakraborty to run the union office from a room in the hospital.

Chakraborty claimed he had obtained permission from the then hospital superintendent, P. B. Mishra, in 1978.

“Saha and his men have raised the issue because we had objected to their illegal act of putting up life-size posters of Mamata Banerjee inside the hospital compound. We have not indulged in any illegal act,” Chakraborty said.

He alleged that Saha was a member of the CPM-affiliated state government employees’ co-ordination committee till last year. “He switched to the Trinamul Congress after the 2011 Assembly elections.”

Asked if he was aware of the Trinamul office in the room, Samanta said: “I will have to look into the matter.”

Chief medical officer of health Dilip Mondal said: “Running any union office from any hospital room and putting up posters of politicians or political organisations are illegal. I locked up an office of an employees’ cooperative in Durgapur subdivisional hospital two months ago.”

Asked whether such offices could be run with permission, the CMOH said: “It is illegal. So, the question of permission does not arise.”

However, the minister of state for health, Chandrima Bhattacharya, found nothing wrong in running any union office or putting up posters as long as it did not affect patients.

“The party office should not affect patients, that’s all,” she said.