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Ardent seeks quota review for ending hunger strike

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SHILLONG, May 26: Cabinet Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh on Friday met VPP chief Ardent Basaiawmoit and requested him to withdraw his hunger strike but he stuck to his guns.
Basaiawmoit, who sat on an indefinite hunger strike on Tuesday, has vowed to continue with it till the state government responds positively to the VPP’s demand for a review of the job reservation policy.
Lyngdoh met Basaiawmoit at the CTO parking lot where he is holding the hunger strike. She said she is worried about the Nongkrem legislator’s health.
After briefly interacting with him, Lyngdoh appealed to him to withdraw the hunger strike. Basaiawmoit said the VPP is ready to withdraw it if the government decides to review the reservation policy.
“We are ready to come to negotiation table if the agenda is on reservation policy,” the VPP chief said.
He made it clear to the Minister that the VPP does not want to discuss the roster system but the reservation policy. Earlier, Lyngdoh showed a keen interest in holding talks with Basaiawmoit but he said it has to be official.
“Our agitation is based on the government’s failure to accept the demand for a review of the reservation policy. Government must be aware of it. The reservation policy should be proportionate,” he insisted.
Later, Lyngdoh told reporters she has understood the mind of the VPP chief and she will talk to everyone. She also said that there is a need to talk and discuss the matter in a proper manner.
Basaiawmoit told the Minister not to worry for him but worry for the state and the future of the youth. He said he is ready to sacrifice his life for the state.
Reacting to the support extended by the UDP to the party’s demand, Basaiawmoit said it is a good sign that some political parties understand the urgent need to review the outdated policy.
Cabinet Minister and BJP leader AL Hek also met Basaiawmoit. Hek said he knows the VPP leader since the days they were together in FKJGP.
Asked how he feels about the VPP’s demand, Hek said the government should do what is best for the people of the state.
Meanwhile, citizens and supporters continued to visit the hunger strike venue on the fourth day to extend their support to the VPP chief.

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