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Anti-quota stir: Docs remain defiant

But, they are open to talks with Govt to break the fortnight-long stalemate that has crippled healthcare services.

india Updated: May 26, 2006 13:59 IST

Striking doctors remained defiant after a meeting with President APJ Abdul Kalam on their anti-quota agitation but kept communication channels with Government open to break the fortnight-long strike that has crippled healthcare services in the capital.

The agitating medicos had a late night meeting with Union Minister Oscar Fernandes on "specific demands" of setting up an experts' panel to review the existing reservation policy.

The students said that they were not "totally" against reservation but opposed it on the basis of caste.

"We are not totally against reservation but want it for economically-backward sections of the society and not on caste basis," Dr Sasmit Sarangi, a representative of 'Youth for Equality', that is spearheading the anti-quota agitation.

The students are holding a 'Delhi Aao, Desh Bacho' rally at the Ramlila Grounds on Saturday to press for their demands and announcements for the same were made by placing advertisements in leading dailies.

Traders' bodies, Resident Welfare Associations, chemists' organisations, a section of the medical faculty and fraternity have declared their support for the anti-quota agitation.

Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have appealed to the students to call off their hunger strike which began on May 14 and assured them of increasing the number of seats for the general category in proportion to the OBC quotas.

The students' have hinted at meeting the Prime Minister after the Saturday rally.

With the resident doctors on strike, healthcare services in Government-run hospitals were affected for the 15th day on Friday.

First Published: May 26, 2006 01:33 IST