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NEET Issue At Centre Stage of Tamil Nadu Municipal Elections; BJP Blames DMK of Vote Bank Politics

The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) exams are now at the centre of a political slugfest in Tamil Nadu. Explained: Why NEET is a poll issue in Tamil Nadu

Published: February 7, 2022 1:24 PM IST

By Education Desk | Edited by Himanshu Shekhar

NEET Tamil Nadu Politics
The demand from the aspirants comes at a time when the NEET UG registration process is underway at The last date for NEET 2022 registration is May 6, 2022.

Chennai: The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) exams is now at the centre of the political slugfest in Tamil Nadu. The ruling DMK and opposition AIADMK have taken up for admission to the MBBS course, as a major issue for the urban local body elections while the state Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have alleged DMK of playing vote bank politics over the issue. The leader of opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly and coordinator of AIADMK, Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) in a speech while addressing party candidates in Salem municipal corporation elections lashed out at the DMK and said that the party grabbed power promising to scrap the NEET exam. Palaniswami also said that after assuming power, the DMK was not able to do anything to abolish NEET. On the other hand, Amar Prasad Reddy, President of BJP Youth and Sports Cell in Tamil Nadu alleged that the DMK was playing vote bank politics. The Tamil Nadu Assembly will meet on February 8 once again as a special session to pass the Bill seeking an exemption to the state from the NEET. The Bill will be sent to Governor RN Ravi for his assent after he has returned the earlier one.

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Earlier on Thursday, the Tamil Nadu governor had returned the Bill passed by the Assembly in September 2020 which sought to exempt students from taking the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for admission to undergraduate medical courses in the state. The Tamil Nadu government’s bill had proposed admitting students to these courses based on Class 12 examination results.

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“DMK should apologise to the people of Tamil Nadu for creating confusion about NEET just to win the vote bank. They misled the youngsters & made them anxious during their most challenging times by giving false information. They should apologise as a party,” Amar Prasad Reddy tweeted on Monday.

Earlier, EPS in his speech said that Chief Minister MK Stalin as opposition leader had promised the people of Tamil Nadu that he would sign the file to abolish NEET ‘as soon as he assumes office’, but nothing happened since May 2021 after the DMK came to power. The AIADMK leader said that the DMK was a political party that used to lie to the people of the state with promises that it cannot keep. He said that it was the Congress government at the Centre that had introduced NEET and Gulam Nabi Azad was the Union health minister then. He also said that it was the AIADMK that prevented NEET exams in Tamil Nadu, but later it was implemented following a Supreme Court order.

The former Chief Minister said that the AIADMK had brought in 7.5 per cent internal reservation for the government school students and this had helped the deprived students to get admission in Medical colleges of Tamil Nadu and said that DMK did not do anything to ensure social justice in the state.

Even as the AIADMK is going hammer and tongs against the government, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, while addressing a virtual rally at Coimbatore on Sunday, said that the imposition of NEET was a new conspiracy to deny education to people based on their social status.

He said that the DMK was under no compulsions to politicize NEET and said that the BJP government at the Centre was following a lot of anti-people policies and they need to be opposed.

M.K. Stalin said that the BJP government had imposed NEET on the nation in 2016 and Tamil Nadu was exempted from it for one year as former Chief Minister late Jayalalitha had opposed it. He said that if that opposition had continued NEET would have ended, but the AIADMK government just succumbed and paved the way for all the problems that are in the state.

NEET Row: History and Blame Game

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said that the then AIADMK government could have adopted another resolution in the Assembly after the Union government returned the Bill against NEET.

Stalin said that the present Tamil Nadu government under the DMK has the courage to readopt the resolution and would resend the Bill to the Governor. Chief Minister said that the DMK government has already implemented 75 per cent of its promises to the people of the state even before a year in office and called upon the people of Coimbatore to make the DMK candidates victorious in the ensuing Urban local body polls of February 19 to carry on the good work of the government to villages, towns and corporations.

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Published Date: February 7, 2022 1:24 PM IST