Sambalpur/Bhubaneswar: Even as the employees of 108 Ambulance are continuing their agitation demanding removal of private agencies from ambulance operations, the ruling BJD today accused BJP of instigating the staff thereby disrupting emergency services.
Health Minister Pratap Jena launched an attack on saffron party saying that it is playing with the lives of patients. “BJP is instigating the 108 ambulance employees, which is affecting healthcare services. The party is trying to do cheap politics. The people will never forgive the party,” Jena said.
BJP, on the other hand, termed Jena’s reaction as a manifestation of his frustration. “The statement made by the Health minister clearly states that they are incapable of resolving the issues of the ambulance employees. The party seems to be approaching its end in politics,” senior BJP leader Suresh Pujari said.
The health Minister who has little knowledge about the Labour Act, is doing petty politics instead of resolving the logjam, Pujari added.
The agitating employees, however, termed their protest as a struggle for their empty stomach.
“No party is cooperating with us. We are struggling for our livelihood. We don’t belong to any party,” Shakti Prasad Das, an agitating employee said.
“The police lathicharged us. We are being tortured by the government. This is a pure struggle for our bread and butter,” Sanjay Nayak, another staff from Nayagarh said.
Yesterday, police had resorted to lathicharge against the workers agitating in front of the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) office in Sambalpur demanding unconditional release of the 358 staff arrested under Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA).
The ambulance personnel are on a dharna since December 20 demanding removal of the private agencies engaged in the operation of the ambulance services.