Govt faces December heat for third year in a row, this time from doctors
New Delhi : This is the third December in a row that the government is facing protests in the country specially in the national capital with resident doctors on strike over the issue of NEET PG counselling. The doctors strike comes at a time when the threat of a third wave of Covid-19, especially the Omicron variant, looms over the country.In 2020 it was the farmers’ agitation which had made the government uneasy and in 2019 it was the countrywide agitation over NRC-CAA in which Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh became the epicentre of the protest with protests erupting from Assam to Kerala. It was the biggest after the Anna Hazare movement in the country.The government this year resolved the farmers’ protest by withdrawing the contentious farm laws but now it has to tackle the resident doctors’ protest over NEET. The Health Minister and the Resident Doctors Association could not reach a consensus on Tuesday over the issue.The resident doctors on Wednesday continued their protest in support of their demands, including the withdrawal of the FIRs filed against them.The meeting between a delegation of the protesting doctors and the Union Health Minister on Tuesday had failed to make any headway.
The resident doctors have been protesting for the past 13 days over the delay in NEET-PG 2021 counselling.The government did not focus on the issue initially and now the agitation has spread from Delhi to other parts of the country.The 15-month-long farmers agitation started against the three contentious farm laws after they were passed in 2020. The agitation petered off after the three laws — the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020 — were repealed by Parliament.The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) was notified on December 12, 2019 and came into force on January 10, 2020. The persons covered under the CAA may apply for citizenship after the rules are notified under the CAA. There were huge protests in several parts of the country following the government’s announcement that the nationwide NRC will be done in late 2019 and early 2020. Many states, especially the opposition ruled states, refused to implement the NRC.