Veteran Marxist leader V S Achuthanandan on Sunday criticised the CPI(M)-led LDF government’s approach to the opposition UDF’s stir on self-financing medical college fees and admission issue, saying it is “not right”. Congress-led UDF is on a warpath on the fee structure of self-financing medical colleges with three of its MLAs sitting on a hunger strike in front of the Assembly foyer since September 28 demanding a rollback of the hiked fees.
Jacob of Kerala Congress (Jacob), a partner of UDF, was taken to the government medical college hospital on Saturday after his condition worsened. Two other MLAs Shafi Parambil and Hibi Eden (both Congress) are continuing their indefinite fast.
Achuthanandan, also the Chairman of the Administrative Reforms Commission, who had two days back met the agitating MLAs, said “the strike should be resolved at the earliest. The government should take steps to find a solution to end the stir”.
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Asked if the government’s approach to the strike is proper, he said, “The government’s approach to the strike is not right. It is wrong. The government should try and find a solution soon.”
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan declined to comment on Achuthanandan’s reaction, while opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said the government should forgo its “ego and its negative” attitude towards the strike and find a solution to the agitation.
Hunger strikes have been held earlier also. This government’s approach is “unfortunate and wrong”, he said.
The government is having “hostile” attitude towards the MLAs on hunger striking. It should take advice from senior leaders like Achuthanandan to resolve the issue, Chennithala said.
Informing that opposition would go ahead with the stir, which entered the fifth day today, Chennithala said tomorrow an UDF meeting would be held to take stock of the situation.
“The government has to take the lead to find a solution to the agitation”, he said, adding it should “set aside its ego and come forward for talks with the opposition. The government has a responsibility to hold talks to end the agitation.”
The opposition had raised the matter inside the Assembly also and disrupted the proceedings continuously since September 26, when the session began.
On Achuthanandan’s reaction, KPCC President V M Sudheeran said the government should take steps to end the agitation as early as possible.