DMK leader and Udhayanidhi Stalin urged to cancel NEET exam in Tamil Nadu
Udhayanidhi Stalin, the ruling DMK’s youth wing chief, and Tamil Nadu Youth Welfare and Sports Development Minister will lead a hunger strike today, i.e., on 20 August, against the NEET.
While speaking to ANI, Udhayanidhi said, “We stand with students. We have been asking for a ban on NEET for almost five to six years. We have lost 20 students. Everybody will have to take moral responsibility.”
This state-wide hunger strike is being held to seek abolition of NEET and to condemn the Union government, which has not scrapped the national test yet, and the “irresponsible” Governor R N Ravi for his pro-NEET stand; the DMK said, as quoted by PTI.
The party has slammed the Central government as being autocratic, as it has so far not abolished NEET, despite several students ending their lives as they could not realize their aspiration to pursue medicine.
The fast is also being undertaken to condemn Ravi for claiming to have “powers” that he does not have.
Also Read: ‘NEET could be scrapped, only if…, Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin claims after two suicide incidents in the state.
Earlier, Udhayanidhi had also criticized the central government following the death of a father and son over the latter’s failure to clear the NEET, saying that the state will fight against the exams “legally.” He added that NEET victimized children and was now driving even their parents to death; further adding, he said that the Centre should understand the mental state of Tamil Nadu students and their parents.
He had also alleged that the reason for the deaths of medical aspirants is that the Governor failed his duty to cancel NEET twice in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, adding that he shelved it and sent it back.
The reference is to the Governor’s recent remark that he would never clear the Bill to exempt Tamil Nadu from the exam’s ambit if he “had the power to do so.”
The Bill is pending with President Droupadi Murmu, and Chief Minister M K Stalin has urged her to clear it expeditiously.
In a party release, DMK’s youth, students, and medical wings said that in Chennai, the fast would be led by Udhayanidhi (Youth wing secretary), C V M P Ezhilarasan (Students’ wing secretary), and Ezhilan Naganathan (Medical wing secretary).
The release said the fast would be held across the state and exhorted people to rally behind them to abolish NEET and establish the educational rights of Tamil Nadu students to save lives.
Earlier on 15 August, CM M K Stalin batted for shifting education to the state list of the Constitution from the concurrent list to crap NEET.
The urge to ban NEET in the state came after the suicide of a teen, a medical course aspirant, and his father over alleged NEET-related stress. The deceased, S Jegadeeswaran (19), was an aspirant and hanged themself after he flunked the NEET exams. A day later, unable to bear his son’s grief, his father, Selvasekar, also committed suicide.
DMK’s fast against NEET is also being held on the day AIADMK announced a mega party conference in Madurai.
Meanwhile, AIADMK flayed the Tamil Nadu government over the alleged suicide of a father-son duo over the boy’s unsuccessful attempts to clear the NEET and accused the ruling DMK of doing precious little on its assurance to cancel the test. Alleging that the ruling DMK, with 38 MPs, has not stalled Parliament on the NEET issue or fulfilled its poll promise of canceling the eligibility test, AIADMK interim general secretary K Palaniswami said Chief Minister M K Stalin and his Minister son Udhayanidhi made several false promises including canceling the NEET only to capture power.
“Following the death of NEET aspirant Anitha of Ariyalur (in 2017), the DMK has been campaigning for a ban on NEET. Stalin had even said that scrapping NEET would be the first film he would sign after becoming CM,” Palaniswami said in a statement as reported by PTI.