Chennai: The three-day monsoon session of the Tamil Nadu Assembly began on Monday at the Kalaivanar auditorium here, amidst demand by the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) for a ban on the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in the state. Also Read - School Reopening News: This State Has Decided to Resume All Classes Simultaneously | Here's When And How
The opposition DMK led by party President M K Stalin showed up wearing face masks with the bilingual slogans “Ban NEET, Save TN Students”. Also Read - NEET 2020: NTA to Release Official Answer Key Soon on Official Website ntaneet.nic.in | Get Latest Updates Here
Later, speaking to mediapersons outside the auditorium, Stalin said he had sought the Speaker to include the names of the NEET aspirants in Tamil Nadu who had died by suicide, in the Assembly condolence resolution. Also Read - BJP Workers Offer 70-kg 'Laddu' at Coimbatore Temple Ahead of PM Modi's 70th Birthday
“I had put forth this demand before the resolution was taken up by the house. But he (Speaker) declined. This is not only regrettable but also condemnable,” Stalin said, while pointing out the aspirants allegedly committed suicide due to fear of the exam.
As many as four medical aspirants from Madurai, Ariyalur, Dharmapuri and Namakkal districts allegedly committed suicide last week, with their deaths sending shock waves across the state.
The leader of the opposition also claimed that the Assembly business advisory committee refused to pay heed to the party’s suggestion for an extended session to discuss crucial issues like NEET and the Centre’s draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020 notification.
“I and my party MLAs have given about 15 to 20 notices seeking special call attention motion to discuss the issues. I wonder if these could be taken up in the next two days,” Stalin told reporters.
The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) was held in over 200 centres across Tamil Nadu on Sunday amid elaborate COVID-19 measures and security, while sporadic protests were staged against the exam following alleged suicides of four medical aspirants.
Approximately, 1.17 lakh candidates had enrolled for the exam and the aspirants arrived well in advance, as early as 11 am, at the exam centres and they were let inside in batches by following the COVID protocol.
The protests, seeking scrapping of the national test were staged by Left leaning student outfits, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, fringe Dravidian parties at places, including Madurai, Theni, Kumbakonam, Pudukottai, Rajapalayam and Karur, police said.
In some locations, children lit candles, paying homage to the three medical aspirants who died by suicide on Saturday in different places in the state.
Protesters briefly raised slogans and held placards alleging NEET “ended” the dreams of young men and women to pursue MBBS.
Police dispersed the protesters and efforts by some agitating men to march towards exam centres were scuttled.