Three UDF MLAs begin indefinite fast at Kerala Assembly

Wednesday, Sep 28, 2016,13:31 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | Stepping up their protest against the LDF government over fees hike in private medical colleges in the state, opposition UDF members forced adjournment of the Assembly for the second day today even as three of their members began an indefinite fast in the legislature complex.

Shafi Parambil and Hibi Eden (both Congress) and Anoop Jacob(KC-J) commenced the fast at the portal leading to the Assembly hall. K M Shaji and N Shamsuddin (both IUML) also started a sit-in dharna at the doorstep of the House expressing solidarity with the fasting young MLAs.

Former chief minister Oommen Chandy, Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and other UDF MLAs also joined the protest against the agreement reached between the CPI-M led government and the self-financing colleges on fees and admission policy.

Amid the fast and dharna, the other Opposition members, who came with placards and banners demanding scraping of the agreement, trooped into the Well of the House and encircled the Speaker’s podium raising slogans as the proceedings began.

They were also protesting against the police action against Youth Congress activists in front of the Secretariat here yesterday and also demanded withdrawal of the controversial statement by Chief Minister Pinarayi against the YC stir.

The House also witnessed heated arguments between the Opposition and the treasury benches when Speaker denied permission for Chennithala to speak during the Question Hour, citing Assembly rules.

When the Zero Hour began, Chennithala asserted the Opposition would not allow the government to go ahead with the present agreement reached with private college managements.

Terming as “arrogant” the attitude of the government on the issue, he said “this will not be accepted at any cost.”

He also wanted the government to take steps to end the “exploitation” of students by the self-financing college managements.

Referring to the statement by Vijayan that those who waved black flags against him as part of the YC protest were “hired by TV channels”, Chennithala said this remark should not have been made by a person holding the position of Chief Minister.

As the protest continued even during the Zero Hour and the Opposition members not going back to their seats, Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan took up the other business of the days’ agenda without debate and adjourned the House for the day.

This is the second consecutive day the Assembly was being adjourned ahead of schedule following Opposition protest over the private medical college issue.

Meanwhile, Kerala Union of Working Journalists today took strong exception to the controversial statement of Vijayan and said the remark was “unfortunate” and “imaginary”.

The three MLAs are continuing their fast despite the adjournment of the assembly.

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