Unbelievable but true – the ballot (“voting paper”) to be used for the upcoming election in the West Bengal Medical Council (WBMC) seemingly will have a “Serial No.” which can be easily tracked by the Council leaders to find out who voted for which candidate. The WBMC election will be held next month to establish a new state medical council that has the supreme authority to take disciplinary action against delinquent physicians. This historic election is being conducted by order from Calcutta High Court in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by PBT against the Adhoc Council, formed through an Ordinance after Mamata Banerjee government came to power in 2011, with 10 hand-picked loyal doctor-supporters of the ruling Trinomool party. Establishment of an honest and unbiased medical council is the only way to restore doctor-patient relationship. PBT is not only the principal architect of this unprecedented election for a new WBMC, at least four doctors with absolutely no political agenda, including PBT president Dr. Kunal Saha, have already filed their nomination papers to contest in the upcoming election.
It is a common knowledge today that medical council elections have always been rigged by the doctor members who are associated with the ruling party in the state – doctors close to the Left-front parties occupied WBMC for the past more than three decades and no sooner Mamata Banerjee-led Trinomool came to power in West Bengal in 2011, the Council was taken over by loyal doctor-supporters of Mamata Banerjee including two sitting MLAs, Dr. Nirmal Maji and Dr. Sudipta Ray. The result of extraneous political influence has always poisoned the medical council hurting interests of both the patients and large fraction of doctors who are honest and working hard to restore public trust in our healers.
PBT has come to learn that the “voting paper” (ballot) which will be mailed to all registered doctors in West Bengal for casting their vote will have a unique “Serial No.” which would enable the present leaders of WBMC to track down how each doctor across the state has voted. In other words, there will be no “secrecy of ballot”, a vital principle for ensuring a fair and free election. A copy of the sample “voting paper” obtained from the Election Rule book which would be used in the WBMC Election, 2013 is shown below. PBT has already lodged a formal complaint with the WBMC Election official in this regard. Election must be held under secret ballot for establishment of a fair and honest WBMC.