Hundreds of DMK cadres gathered in front of Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Saturday, 24 October, to urge Banwarilal Purohit, the Tamil Nadu Governor, to give his assent to the bill providing 7.5 percent reservation for government school students in MBBS admissions based on the results of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
The protest was led by DMK Chief MK Stalin and saw the participation of several MLAs and senior leaders of the party.
According to reports, slogans condemning the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami for not meeting the Governor and pressing for his assent were raised by the leaders.
Senior leaders like former Union Minister TR Baalu, Lok Sabha MP Kanimozhi, Saidapet MLA and former Chennai Mayor Ma Subramanian and DMK General Secretary Durai Murugan were present during the protest.
All leaders were holding placards that said ‘Don’t ruin the medical doctor dreams of students from the villages’.
Party’s Aim is to Not Have NEET At All: Stalin
In his speech during the protest, Stalin said that the party’s aim is to not have NEET at all.
“When Jayalalithaa was the chief minister, NEET couldn’t come inside Tamil Nadu. But today, since the Edappadi-led AIADMK is like a slave, NEET has entered the state… just like how Edappadi (K Palaniswami) fell at the feet to become the chief minister, he allowed (NEET in Tamil Nadu) to safeguard his post,” Stalin said.
Adding that once DMK comes to power in Tamil Nadu in the upcoming elections, the party will take all steps to legally ban NEET in the state and get it done, Stalin said, “The resolution on the release of Rajiv Gandhi assassination convicts is still pending with the Governor for a long time. I don’t want this NEET bill also to get stuck like that.”
Referring to the reply he received from the Governor on the NEET bill issue, Stalin said that already 40 days have lapsed since the bill was sent to him.
“The state assembly passed the bill only after a committee led by a former judge recommended this. Why does the Governor need legal opinion again?” he questioned.
Accusing the Governor of deliberately delaying it in the anticipation of the AIADMK-government forgetting it, Stalin said that even if the state government forgets it, the opposition (DMK) will not forget it.
The government of Tamil Nadu had earlier passed a bill providing 7.5 per cent quota in MBBS admissions for government school students who clear NEET. The bill was passed in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on 15 September and is pending at the office of the Governor, who is yet to grant his assent to the bill.
(This story was published in an arrangement with The News Minute)