File photo: TMC party flags(FILE PHOTO.)
File photo: TMC party flags(FILE PHOTO.)

'To err is human,' says TMC as MLA’s name figures in list of vaccine recipients

  • The TMC leadership downplayed the incident calling it an error that was being blown out of proportion.
By HT Correspondent, Kolkata/siliguri
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 09:31 PM IST

At Alipurduar in north Bengal, a controversy was triggered when TMC MLA Sourav Chakraborty's name figured in the list of vaccine beneficiaries along with health care workers.

Chakraborty, who holds a doctorate degree, however, backed out at the last minute after questions were raised.

“There must have been a communication gap on part of the district health department as I hold a PhD degree and am also the chairman of Rogi Kalyan Samiti (patient welfare committee) in the district hospital. The moment I came to know that my name figured in the list of health workers, I contacted the district chief medical officer of health (CMOH) and refused to take the vaccine. I am at Alipurduar district hospital overseeing the vaccination program,” said Chakraborty.

The BJP didn’t leave a chance to take a jibe at the ruling TMC.

“The MLA must have tried to hoodwink people by getting the first vaccine as he holds a doctorate degree and is not a doctor. As the news became public, the ruling TMC and Chakraborty, in particular, have been ridiculed by common people,” said Ganga Prasad Sharma, BJP Alipurduar district committee president.

Also read: Some states report hurdle in vaccination as CoWIN app develops glitches

The TMC leadership downplayed the incident calling it an error that was being blown out of proportion.

“To err is human. As if BJP leaders do not make any mistakes and are always right. The matter has ended because Chakraborty has himself dropped his name. TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee has strictly directed that only health workers should get the vaccine,” said Tapas Roy, TMC spokesperson and minister.

Meanwhile, at least two legislators of the ruling Trinamool Congress received Covid-19 vaccine on the first day of nationwide vaccination drive along with thousands of healthcare workers.

The two TMC legislators who received the vaccine on Saturday were Rabindranath Chatterjee, MLA of Katwa, and Subhash Mondol, MLA of Bhatar. Both are assembly constituencies in East Burdwan district in south Bengal.

“I have received the vaccine. Everyone will get in turn. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee will arrange the vaccine for every citizen of West Bengal,” said Mondol.

Also read: In bid to meet vaccine needs of other nations, India’s neighbours to be priority

“I received a message that I would be getting a vaccine. I took it because I felt that if I take it, others will shed their apprehension and come forward to take the vaccine,” said Chatterjee.

Senior health officials of the district said that both Chatterjee and Mondol are chairpersons of the Rogi Kalyan Samity (patient’s welfare committee) at Katwa and Bhatar hospital. They need to regularly come to the hospital and hence their names were selected.

The BJP, however, took a jibe saying that it was surprising to see only two TMC legislators taking the vaccine.

“What can I say? This is TMC. But I am surprised to see that only two came,” said Samik Bhattacharya, BJP spokesperson.

“I don’t know whether they have taken the vaccine. But it would be wrong to take the vaccine today as it was meant for health workers only,” said Firhad Hakim, state minister.

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