Chennai: The Centre's 'rejection' of the two Bills seeking exemption for Tamil Nadu from NEET rocked the Assembly for the second time this week. The opposition DMK which raised the issue again accused the AIADMK government of 'suppressing the truth on Centre's rejection and said this only showed TN government's lack of concern to get exemption from the entrance test.
Contending that the State Law Minister C. Ve. Shanmugam had received a reply from the Centre on the 'rejection' of two bills, leader of the Opposition in the Assembly and DMK president M. K. Stalin said despite the 'clarification' the Minister had not revealed it to the Assembly.
"It has come to light after we [DMK] questioned about it and got it out," Stalin said and demanded that the Minister step down.
Refuting, Mr. Shanmugam said had the Centre informed as Stalin claims then the State government would have taken appropriate action.
"But the bills have only been withheld and not rejected as alleged by the leader of the Opposition," the Minister said. He reiterated that the Tamil Nadu government had sought a reply from the central government on the issue and a reply is yet to be received. Mr. Shanmugam said he had already explained in a detailed manner in the Assembly on the issue on July 8.
Health Minister Dr. C. Vijayabaskar also said the Law Minister had said the two bills sent to the President for his assent were withheld. Refusing to accept Mr. Shanmugam's explanation, Mr. Stalin said the DMK would stage a walkout from the Assembly for not receiving a proper reply on the 'rejection' of two bills that sought exemption to the State students from writing the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET); and he led his DMK members in staging the walk out.
Immediately after the DMK members walked out of the House, when CLP leader K. R. Ramasamy attempted to make a remark, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said Tamil Nadu has been forced to accept NEET because of the then Congress government which had issued a notification.
When Ramaswamy said respective States could take a call on NEET, Dr. Vijayabaskar shot back saying "Thanks for admitting that the Congress is responsible for the present problems. Now, why don't you ask your ally, the DMK why that party accepted NEET when it was in power."
The Health Minister also blamed then Congress-led UPA government for student Anita's suicide. "Now both the DMK and Congress were politicising the issue and confusing the parents and students," he added.
Later, as the DMK members returned after staging a walk out, the Congress MLAs trouped out of the House, over the NEET issue.