Self-financing Issue: Talks fail, MLAs to continue hunger strike in spite of failing health
- Alleging conspiracy the opposition has been on the warpath both within and outside the legislative assembly after the government reached an agreement with private self-financing managements to raise capitation fee.
- To protest the government decision three opposition legislators had begun an indefinite fast in the assembly against the fee hike.
A meeting called by Kerala Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan between Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala have failed to resolve the ongoing crisis regarding the self-financing colleges issue.
The opposition led by the United Democratic Front (UDF) boycotted the assembly and has decided to intensify the agitation.
Meanwhile, doctors who examined the legislators who are on an indefinite hunger strike has reportedly raised concerns over the health of MLAs Hiby Eden and Shafi Parambil who are continuing their stir. On Saturday, Kerala Congress (Jacob) MLA Anoop Jacob was shifted to hospital after doctors found that the bilirubin level in his blood had dipped sharply and he had developed signs of jaundice.
Though the UDF leadership had contemplated replacing Hiby Eden and Shafi Parambil with VT Balram, KS Sabarinath and Roji John both the MLAs conveyed their willingness to continue with the strike in spite of poor health.
The deteriorating health of the legislators have put both the government and the opposition in a tight spot. However, the opposition is still adamant on its demand that the government should scrap the agreement with Private Self Financing Medical College Managements on the fee structure for medical and dental courses.
The opposition has been alleging that the fee hike imposed by the state government has made professional courses unaffordable to students from financially backward families, but the government has called the opposition's allegations baseless and said that the new admission criteria would help bring social equality.