The protesting students of Chintpurni Medical College, near Pathankot, got support from unexpected quarters on Wednesday when senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla assured them of her support.
Chawla, who visited the students sitting on a dharna outside Government Medical College here, urged the authorities concerned "to heed to the demand of the students, who want to be shifted to a recognised medical college of Punjab as the medical college where they are enrolled is yet to get recognition from the Medical Council of India (MCI)".
Chawla promised the protesting 130 students that if the authorities concerned failed to give them justice, she would take up the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She gave this assurance notwithstanding the fact that Punjab medical education and research minister Anil Joshi and the chairman of the Chintpurni Medical College Swaran Salaria both belonged to the BJP.
She said it was unfortunate that the government was playing with the future of these students. The issue was serious as their future could be ruined in a college, which was not recognised, she said.
The students have been on dharna since September 28, demanding they be shifted to a recognised medical college. They have claimed that the MCI has no objections to their being shifted to another college.
On October 2, Joshi had assured the students that he would solve their problem, but he too was yet to come out with a solution. The students have accused Joshi of being hand-in-glove with Salaria, as both belong to the same political party.
The students have chosen Amritsar for the protest as Joshi belongs to the city and his residence is very close to the dharna site.