Controversy after TMC MLA’s name crops up in list of Covid vaccine recipients

Published on Jan 16, 2021 01:26 PM IST

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

FILE PHOTO: Medical workers wait to register people before they receive a dose of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a vaccination site, during a government-organized visit, in Beijing, China January 15, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: Medical workers wait to register people before they receive a dose of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a vaccination site, during a government-organized visit, in Beijing, China January 15, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo(REUTERS)
By, Siliguri

A controversy erupted even before the vaccination drive could take off in West Bengal after the name of a legislator of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) figured in the list of health workers who were to receive the Covid-19 shots on Saturday.

TMC MLA Sourav Chakraborty later dropped out, after questions were raised by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The ruling TMC said that it was an error, which has been rectified.

Chakraborty, a TMC MLA from Alipurduar in north Bengal, holds a PhD degree. His name was the first in the list of health care workers who were to receive the vaccine at Alipurduar district hospital.

“There must have been a communication gap on the part of the district health department as I hold a PhD degree and I 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 programme,” said Chakraborty.

But the BJP took potshots at the 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.

The chief medical officer for health of Alipurduar, Girish Chandra Bera, could not be contacted.

“The MLA’s name figured in the list as the chairman of Rogi Kalyan Samiti and as he also writes his name as Dr Chakraborty. The health department should have cross-checked,” said a doctor of the hospital, who didn’t wish to be named.

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

“To err is human. As if the 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.


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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    I am working with Hindustan Times since 2001 and am posted in Siliguri, West Bengal, as Principal Correspondent. I have been regularly covering vast area of northern parts of West Bengal, Sikkim and parts of Nepal and Bhutan.

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