Chennai, Nov 23 (UNI) Medicos in Tamil Nadu today intensified their agitation by launching a fast-unto-death demanding the Centre to drop its proposed move to make one-year rural posting mandatory.
A day after the leaders of various political parties expressed their solidarity with them and promised their support, the medicos began an indefinite fast today.
The medicos were on relay hunger strike for the last two days and decided to intensify their stir seeking Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's intervention into the issue.
A spokesman of the Tamil Nadu Medical Students and House Surgeon's Council, which is spearheading the agitation, told UNI that students of the Madras Medical College (MMC) and the Kilpauk Medical College (KMC) began the fast in front of the MMC campus opposite to Chennai Central Station.
The students of the Government Stanley Medical College launched the indefinite fast at the college campus.
Medical students and house surgeons of 14 government medical colleges in the state also launched the indefinite fast opposing the Centre's move, which they believe would increase the MBBS course duration by one year from five-and-a-half years to six-and-a-half years.
The opposition AIADMK staged a demonstration in front of the State Guest House expressing solidarity with the medicos. They shouted slogans denouncing the Centre for extending the MBBS course by one year and demanded that it should be dropped.
Meanwhile, representatives of the Council rushed to the State Secretariat to hold talks Health Minister M R K Panneerselvam to arrive at a negotiated settlement to the issue.
The ongoing agitation took a political turn with leaders of various parties pledging their support, in a bid to exert pressure on Union Health Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss to drop the proposal.
Leaders of the main Opposition AIADMK, Left parties, MDMK, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Puthiya Tamizhagam and All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi visited the striking medicos and pledged their support.
Students of Dr Ambedkar Government Law College also offered their support to the medicos.