June 6th, 2008 - 7:55 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, June 6 (IANS): Allies of the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu have called for a total shut-down across the state Saturday on various economic issues. While the Left partis have demanded the state government’s cooperation to ensure complete general strike to protest against the fuel hike by ordering public transport off roads, PMK founder S. Ramadoss assailed Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi for ignoring allies’ recommendations and allowing a hike in engineering college fees.
The two communist parties and PMK are discussing mutual cooperation to enforce a total shutdown Saturday.
Without naming any political party, a government press communiqué Friday said all public conveyances will be allowed to operate unhindered, all bus depots will be heavily guarded and those trying to forcibly stop road and rail traffic would be jailed.
Ramadoss was harsh in his criticism on the economics of education
In an unfair manner, the government virtually doubled the fees for engineering colleges from last year’s Rs.32,500, ignoring the allies’ opinions, using the alibi of an advisory panel’s recommendations. This means that ordinary middle-class students will become ineligible for vocational training. Opposition parties will explore possibilities of a joint agitation against this move soon, Ramadoss said during a press conference Friday.
State Minister for Higher Education K. Ponmudy, however, denied the allegations
The fee structure covering 65 percent of the students remains unchanged. Further, students enrolling under the management quota will also be protected from fleecing by private institutions, as transgressing colleges will be punished through an immediate de-recognition process. All relevant decisions are congruent to opinions expressed during repeated all-party meetings,Ponmudy told reporters.
The Left and PMK, however, said regardless of political differences they would continue to prop up the DMK government.
Strength of DMK allies in State Assemblies
The DMK government, which has 95 legislators, is supported by the combined strength of the Congress (35), Communist Party of India-Marxist (9), Communist Party of India (6), PMK (18) and VCK (2) in the state assembly.