DMK stages walkout from Tamil Nadu Assembly on NEET

Chennai: The DMK on Wednesday staged a walkout from the Tamil Nadu Assembly for not receiving a proper reply on the rejection of two bills that sought an exemption to the state students from writing the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).

The two bills were sent to the President’s office by the Tamil Nadu government in 2017 and were recently rejected after 27 months in the office.

Speaking at the Assembly, DMK President MK Stalin said that state Law Minister CV Shanmugam had received a reply — if not the clarification — from the Centre on the rejection of two bills, but he did not brief the Assembly on the same.

“It came to light after we [the DMK] questioned about it and got it out,” said Stalin.

The DMK chief also demanded the resignation of Shanmugam.

Shanmugam said that the bills have only been put on hold and not rejected. He added that the Tamil Nadu government had written for a clarification to the President over the same but it did not receive any reply.

NEET, which was declared illegal and unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2013, was restored in April 2016, by a five-judge constitution bench that allowed the Centre and the Medical Council of India (MCI) to implement the common entrance test.

In 2016, following requests from states like Tamil Nadu, government colleges were granted exemption from NEET for a year. This ended in 2017.

The Tamil Nadu Assembly had passed two Bills with the support of all parties in 2017 for students of the state to be exempted from the test.