Staunchly denouncing Governor R N Ravi’s pro-NEET stand, Chief Minister M K Stalin on Monday said his government would boycott the tea party to be hosted by him on Independence Day.
Two days ago, Mr Ravi had said that he would never give assent to the Tamil Nadu Assembly Bill to exempt the state from the purview of the national test if he “had the power to do so”.
The Governor’s statement has shocked students and young people, Chief Minister Stalin said, condemning Mr Ravi’s remarks.
The bill is pending the President for her assent, and Mr Stalin said a letter is being sent requesting her to give her approval.
“The Governor’s comment is irresponsible and belittles Tamil Nadu’s seven-year-long anti-NEET struggle,” the CM said.
On the eve of Independence Day, the deaths by suicide of a student, Jagatheeswaran, who desired to pursue an MBBS course after clearing NEET, and his father Selvasekhar led to a question; Mr Stalin demanded to know if the freedom bestowed on the people is meant for all or whether it is only for a few rich people.
“Starting from Anitha (Ariyalur District), many invaluable lives (of aspirants) were lost in Tamil Nadu due to the NEET exam method… Our conscience is shaken by the moral questions raised by their deaths,” he said in a statement.
Mr Ravi is callously making pro-NEET comments without realising how students from poor, ordinary and middle-class backgrounds are losing good opportunities due to that test. The Governor’s activities appear to be indifferent to the student deaths due to NEET, the CM further said.
Mr Stalin said the DMK regime usually ignores Ravi’s political comments on topics like those related to “Aryan and Dravidian” and ‘Sanathanam’ (Sanatana Dharma) as “Aryan lament”.
However, if the Governor says that he would destroy marginalised people’s dreams of pursuing a course in medicine, then “we consider it to be a conspiracy related to the education department.”
The chief minister said the future of Tamil Nadu students is important to the government. Hitting out at the Governor, he said, “We are not the ones to come this year and go next year; whether we are in power or not the DMK is the only party to give voice to the rights of the Tamil people.” Ravi has been causing confusion in the higher education department, ruining state-run universities and he is withholding his assent to assembly bills; his pro-NEET comment is the peak of it all, which is tantamount to “destroying” the dreams of students and their parents, Stalin said.
“I strongly condemn this,” he said, adding that to mark the state government’s opposition to Governor’s public, pro-NEET stand, “we have decided to boycott the tea party to be hosted him on August 15 in Raj Bhavan.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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