Even as India is amidst an acute coronavirus crisis, with the number of caseloads steadily rising, some journalists are trying to exploit this adversity by furthering their political propaganda. To this end, journalist Rajdeep Sardesai recently posted a tweet regarding non-payments of stipends to the medicos in a hospital in Karnataka and took a sly dig at the Prime Minister for demonstrating his respect for the corona warriors by asking people to clang Thalis but not paying them their due salaries.
“In a hospital in Davanagere in Karnataka, resident doctors have not been paid for 16 months, that’s right 16 months! There is no point in saluting corona warriors, beating Thalis if basic stipends/salaries are not paid on time. Time to walk the talk! Good night, shubhratri,” Rajdeep tweeted.
As per Rajdeep’s assessment of the unfortunate misery faced by the resident doctors in a hospital in Davanagere in Karnataka, PM Modi is to be held responsible for the non-payment of salaries to the medicos.
Hospital owned by Congress leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa
Responding to Rajdeep’s tweet, a Twitter user informed him that the hospital in question was the JJM Medical College where stipends were not paid for about 15 months. The Twitter user also added that the college hospital is owned by a Congress leader–Shamanur Shivashankarappa.
The governing body of the JJM medical college is headed by Dr Shamanur Shivashankarappa, a veteran Congress leader and a Member of the Legislative Assembly from the Davanagere South Assembly Constituency.
However, these details were not mentioned by Rajdeep Sardesai in his tweet, because, perhaps the aim was to cast aspersions on PM Modi’s commitment to the wellbeing of the doctors and other frontline coronavirus warriors.
Stipend of medicos in JJM college stopped under Congress-alliance rule in Karnataka
While Rajdeep took a swipe at PM Modi for the interminable deferment of stipend to the doctors at a hospital in Karnataka, he conveniently did not reveal the full details of the matter and its origin. The resident doctors of JJM college have been on indefinite strike against non-payment of stipend for over 16 months now. The BJP formed the government in Karnataka in July 2019, almost six months after the doctors at JJM college staged protests against the non-payment of their due salaries. Before them, the Congress-JDS alliance was at the helm of affairs in the state of Karnataka when the medicos started their protest against the non-payment of the stipend.
On the expected lines, Rajdeep deems it inconsequential to apprise his Twitter followers of the genesis of the protests that had its roots in the tenure of HD Kumaraswamy government in Karnataka.
BJP government in Karnataka had asked college authorities to pay the stipends
It is also pertinent to note that the Karnataka Government had already directed the JJM authorities to pay the pending stipends to the doctors. Taking cognisance of a letter written to the Karnataka Health and Family Welfare Department, seeking for the release of funds to pay interns stipends for up to 11 months, the BJP government in Karnataka in February 2020 had ordered the principals of Kasturba Medical College (KMC), and JJM Medical College, to pay the outstanding stipend of the medicos which were yet to be paid.
The Yeddyurappa government in Karnataka had instructed the hospital authorities to pay the pending stipend to the protesting doctors in February 2020 but the governing body of the medical college, chaired by a veteran Congress leader, did not heed the instructions. As per the Medical Council of India, medical colleges need to have their own hospital and should pay for students serving in the said hospitals.
In May 2020, Karnataka Medical Education minister K Sudhakar had even warned the authorities of the private medical colleges, including JJM college, who had not paid stipends of the students at par with stipends paid by government colleges.
In an interaction with the minister, students of JJM Medical college had raised the issue of non-payment of dues.