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BJP slams State govt for threatening to invoke ESMA on agitating AYUSH doctors


 The Odisha unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today slammed the State government for threatening to invoke Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) on agitating AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy) doctors, Anganwadi workers, workers in primary service cooperative societies and large area multipurpose cooperative societies.

“These people are rendering services at the grass-roots level. The agitation by them is peaceful in nature. The demands raised by them with regard to remuneration, job security and ancillary benefits are logical and justified”, BJP Vice President Sameer Mohanty said while briefing media persons here today.

He added, “Instead of sympathetically considering the grievances of agitators, Minister Surya Narayan Patro has warned to invoke ESMA against them. AYUSH doctors have already been arrested. It seems, there is no place for peaceful strikes in Naveen Patnaik-led government. The bid to suppress democratic agitations is unfortunate and condemnable. The government needs to adopt restraint while dealing with agitating employees, as they are the lifeline of the service-delivery system in the remotest corners of the State’.  

Mohanty said due to the inept handling of the situation, small and marginal farmers, children and pregnant women are suffering a lot. “Over 70,000 anganwadi workers play a vital role in providing nutritional supplement to poor women and kids. Similarly, AYUSH doctors are practically running health service centres in rural pockets. The service cooperative societies are catering to small and marginal farmers’ needs. The agitation by these grass-root personnel has begun to adversely affect the priority sectors”, he stated.     

The saffron party leader said the salary and other benefits extended to Anganwadi workers, AYUSH doctors and service cooperative societies’ workers are high in most of the states. “Hence, the state government must concede to their demands and put an end to the prevailing stalemate. Arresting the agitators or resorting to coercive action is not the remedy to solve the situation”, he added.

EDITOR : Bijoy Ketan Mishra
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