The Congress-led UDF Opposition in Kerala continued their protest in the Assembly over the issue of fees hike in private medical colleges, even as the hunger strike of its two protesting MLAs on Tuesday entered the seventh day.
The UDF members boycotted the proceedings to express their solidarity with the fasting Congress MLAs, Shafi Parambil and Hibi Eden, who carried on with their hunger strike at the foyer of the hall.
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In the absence of main Opposition, Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan took up other slated businesses, including discussion on demands for grants in the budget for financial year 2016-17, for fisheries department.
Later, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said, even though health condition of MLAs were not satisfactory, they were continuing their strike.
“The strike would end if the government takes a positive stand on the matter,” Chennithala said while pointing out at the statement of private managements that they were ready to reduce fees for students from financially weaker section.
He further said, the Chief Minister has also stated that government was in favour of managements’ opinion and “in these circumstances the government should take initiative to hold talks.”
IUML leader and former State Minister P L Kunhalikutty said, the Opposition was ready to cooperate, but the government should shed its arrogance.
On Monday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan held talks with Opposition leaders, on the issue. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said, the Chief Minister would be holding talks with private medical college managements on Tuesday and a decision on the UDF strike is likely to be taken then.