The Congress and the BJP on Monday asked the Kerala government to take urgent steps to end the indefinite strike by a section of nurses of private hospitals demanding wage hike.

The opposition parties urged the government to ensure decent wages to the nurses working in private hospitals, who play a significant role in the state's health sector.

In a letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said fever and other contagious diseases were spreading across the state and the indefinite strike by private nurses would further worsen the situation in the state health sector.

"Even the construction workers are getting Rs 900-1000 as daily wages in the state. At the same time, nurses, who are involved in life-saving activities, are given only Rs 400-500 as daily wage," PTI quoted the Congress leader as saying.

Private sector nurses were drawing a monthly salary of just Rs 9,000-12,000, Chennithala said, adding that the Chief Minister should intervene in the issue immediately to end the agitation and to the increase their wages.

BJP national executive member V Muraleedharan said the LDF government was not taking any steps to end the nurses' agitation and it is to help the private hospital lobby.

Muraleedharan said the Narendra Modi government at the Centre had already enacted a law to ensure at least Rs 20,000 as monthly wages to the nurses working in 50 bed-hospitals. The state government was not implementing the law, despite repeated directives of the Supreme Court in this regard, the BJP leader alleged.

The nurses of private hospitals began an indefinite strike state-wide on June 28 after the hospital managements rejected their pay revision demand.