CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin announced on Thursday that an all-party conference will be held in Chennai on January 8 to review the state’s petition for exemption from NEET, as a bill in the Assembly is pending with the Centre in this regard. Despite an all-party delegation led by DMK Lok Sabha member T R Baalu failing to gain an appointment with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday, the Chief Minister claimed that the Centre had not moved on the Tamil Nadu Assembly Bill demanding exemption from NEET.
“On January 8, the State Government has called an all-party conference to discuss the next course of action,” Stalin told the state Assembly.
He appealed to the leaders of various political parties with representation in the Assembly to extend their cooperation to the critical issue confronting the State’s students, particularly those from rural backgrounds, in a statement read on the House floor under Rule 110.
Recalling the unanimous Assembly bill against NEET that was passed in the House in September, Stalin stated that “our campaign against NEET and for social justice will continue” based on the choices made at the Saturday all-party conference.
He said that the Centre had “snatched away” states’ rights to decide how to conduct medical admissions through the entrance test, claiming that the state wished to do so only on the basis of Class XII grades.
He claimed that the Bill sent to the Governor had not been forwarded to the President of India, and that he had personally raised the issue with the Governor, following which a Baalu-led delegation submitted a memorandum to the President’s office protesting NEET and the “losses” suffered by students, as well as the delay in receiving the exemption.
He mentioned that the pertinent representation has been transferred to the Union Home Ministry.
Tamil Nadu has been requesting an exemption from the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test, and the issue has emotive overtones in the state, with a few medical aspirants reportedly contemplating suicide as a result of bad marks or fear of failing the exam.