Medicos go on indefinite fast, hold talks with Panneerselvam

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Chennai, Dec 3 (UNI) Hours after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi reiterated his appeal to call off their agitation, representatives of the striking medicos, who launched an indefinite fast today, held discussions with state Health Minister M R K Panneerselvam this evening in a bid to break the impasse.

A representative of the Tamil Nadu Medical Students and House Surgeon's Council, who attended the meeting with Mr Panneerselvam at the state Secretariat, said the discussions were smooth.

The Minister referred to the Chief Minister's appeal and urged the medicos to call off their stir. ''You should consider the Chief Minister's appeal as an assurance and return to the classes,'' he told the students.

The students were expected to hold discussions with their council members and promised to get back to the government tonight.

Earlier, the unyielding medicos intensified their stir by launching an indefinite fast this morning, despite the Tamil Nadu government stating that colleges and hostels would be closed down if they did not return to classes today.

However, officials in the Government Stanley, Kilpauk and Madras Medical colleges said the hostels and colleges were not closed after Mr Karunanidhi reiterated his appeal and clarified that the government had not served any ultimatum to the medicos.

Reports said a majority of girls and boys had vacated the hostels on their own volition.

Mr Karunanidhi also said that the government had not issued any ultimatum to the medicos and said the agitation was unwarranted as nothing had been implemented so far.

''The one-year rural posting is only in the proposal stage and no amendments had been brought to the Act in Parliament'', Mr Karunanidhi said and urged the students to consider Union Health Minister Dr Anbumani's assurance that a final decision would be taken on receipt of Dr Sambasiva Rao committee report and call of the strike.

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UNI

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