Medicos meet PM, but stir is on
The anti-quota activists have stepped up preparations to make their today's 'Dilli Aao, Desh Bacho' rally a success.india Updated: May 27, 2006 01:18 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday assured the medicos protesting against the OBC quota proposal that he foresaw a massive growth in the educational opportunities and therefore there was no need to be worried.
After their discussion with the PM, the doctors' delegation said it was a good meeting and that "an agreeable solution was likely". A few hours later, it was clear that the assurance did not have an immediate effect. The doctors said their agitation would continue till all the participating students' bodies were convinced. And their 'Dilli Aao, Desh Bacho' rally at Ramlila ground on Saturday was certainly on, they said.
In his first meeting with the striking medicos, the PM said: "You need not be worried about shrinking educational opportunities since the technical expert groups being set up under the Oversight Committee will examine ways and means to expand capacities. The government is committed to the expansion." He asked the medicos to come up with specific suggestions that could be taken by the expert groups.
After the meeting, AIIMS RDA member Jitender Kumar said the delegation would convey to the anti-reservation activists their impression of the meeting. "The general body meeting of the Youth for Equality (spearheading the agitation) will take a final decision on the strike," he said.
Another member of the delegation, Amitasha Sinha, told HT: "The PM has verbally agreed to our demand for a percentage increase in general category seats, which is an improvement." But it was not enough to call off the agitation. "Since colleges throughout the country are on a strike, we alone cannot decide. We are in consultation with other colleges," he said.
Also, the medicos were not satisfied on the PM's response to two of their demands: setting up of an experts' panel to look into the quota issue and exclusion of the creamy layer from the benefits. "The PM was very vague and non-committal on both the issues. He just told us that there would be massive expansion of educational infrastructure," said UCMS student Vishal Sharma.
Ahead of his meeting with the doctors, the PM is believed to have had a discussion with HRD Minister Arjun Singh, the details of which were not available.
The anti-reservation activists have, meanwhile, stepped up the preparations to make their 'Dilli Aao, Desh Bacho' rally a success. They have roped in support of traders' bodies, chemists' bodies and RWAs.