Hunger Strike Against NEET: Chief Minister indirectly criticized the Tamil Nadu Governor, R N Ravi, for his opposition to the state’s anti-NEET bill
Chennai, 20 August (City Times): Hunger Strike Against NEET: Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and DMK President M.K. Stalin, has reassured his dedication to securing an exemption for the state from the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET). His declaration coincides with a state-wide hunger strike led by his son and cabinet minister, Udhayanidhi, as part of the party’s campaign to eliminate this entrance test.
Unwavering Pursuit of Exemption
Stalin emphasized that DMK’s efforts to secure exemption from NEET for Tamil Nadu will persist without faltering. He voiced this stance during a wedding event, aligning with the party’s ongoing movement against the NEET examination. He also indirectly criticized the Tamil Nadu Governor, R N Ravi, for his opposition to the state’s anti-NEET bill, referring to the Governor’s role as akin to a “postman” forwarding matters from the state Assembly to the President.
Hunger Strike for a Cause
The hunger strike initiated by the ruling party encompassed Tamil Nadu, except for Madurai, where AIADMK held a significant state conference. The hunger strike, organized by DMK’s youth, students, and doctors wings, took place at Valluvar Kottam in Chennai. The protest aimed to address the recent suicide of an aspirant and advocate for discontinuing NEET.
Stalin reiterated DMK’s historical resistance to NEET, highlighting the party’s consistent stance against the examination since its inception. He recalled the instance of a previous anti-NEET bill during AIADMK’s reign, which was not disclosed and eventually lapsed. However, DMK’s commitment to the cause remained strong, and the bill seeking TN’s exemption was adopted twice after the party assumed power.
Continued Struggle for Exemption
Stalin emphasized the strenuous journey of the bill for Presidential approval, alleging the Governor’s delay in forwarding it. He stressed that the President’s decision should align with the central government’s advice. The Chief Minister proclaimed DMK’s unwavering commitment to ensuring NEET exemption, regardless of the party’s position in power.
State Minister Duraimurugan echoed DMK’s opposition to NEET, asserting that the exam was not in the students’ best interest. Despite repeated pleas, the Centre had not heeded Tamil Nadu’s request to eliminate NEET, Duraimurugan remarked. The anti-NEET bill currently awaits the President’s approval, as the state’s determination against the test remains unswerving.
Clash over Anti-NEET Bill:
The tension between Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and Governor RN Ravi has intensified recently due to their differing views on the anti-NEET bill. The Chief Minister, backed by his party DMK, has been advocating for the abolition of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), which has led to clashes with the Governor, who expressed his reluctance to approve the state’s anti-NEET bill. This clash over educational policy has drawn attention to the power dynamics between the state government and the governor’s office.
Governor’s Role in Legislation:
The conflict stems from the differing interpretations of the Governor’s role in the legislative process. While the Chief Minister and his government argue that the Governor should endorse the state’s decision to seek exemption from NEET, Governor RN Ravi has emphasized his role as a constitutional head and has raised concerns about the bill’s potential impact on medical admissions and national uniformity in entrance examinations. This clash highlights the complexities of the relationship between the state’s elected leadership and the governor’s appointed position.
Center of Political Debate:
The tension between MK Stalin and RN Ravi has become a center of political debate in Tamil Nadu. Supporters of the Chief Minister argue that the Governor should respect the democratically elected government’s decisions and prioritize the welfare of the state’s students. On the other hand, those supporting the Governor emphasize the need to maintain a uniform standard for medical education across the country and uphold the principles of educational fairness. This ideological divide has led to intense discussions and debates within the state’s political circles.
Implications for Governance:
The ongoing tension between MK Stalin and RN Ravi raises questions about the broader implications for governance and decision-making in Tamil Nadu. As the state government strives to address important issues like education and public health, the conflicting viewpoints between the Chief Minister and the Governor underscore the challenges of achieving consensus on policy matters. The outcome of this standoff could have far-reaching consequences for the state’s approach to key policy decisions and its relationship with the central government.