Chennai: DMK workers formed human chains across Tamil Nadu on Thursday to press for president’s assent to two bills seeking to exempt the state from the ambit of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for students aspiring to study medicine.
The party cadre and leaders led the formation of human chains in their respective regions. The participants raised slogans demanding cancellation of the NEET and condemned the state government for not getting exemption in a “conspiracy” with the centre. DMK leader Dayanidhi Maran said there should be “permanent solution”, as advocated by party working president M.K. Stalin, and not an exemption from NEET for “a year or two”, which the state government was “attempting”.
Meanwhile, before his detention by police en route Salem from Coimbatore, Stalin said, “The government trying to stop the (human chain) protest (in Salem) itself is a victory.” He told reporters that police preventing him from proceeding further was also to stop him from visiting the Katcharoyan lake at Edappadi in Salem, which was desilted by his party workers with help from local people. The leader of the opposition, who was detained in a hall in Coimbatore, was released later in the evening.
DMK cadre staged protests against the police detaining their party chief. Party workers reportedly had desilted the Salem lake on Wednesday. Stalin accused the AIADMK regime of “enacting drama” on the NEET issue and said the protest is a “big victory”, as the government had tried to scuttle the stir. Till the state gets exemption from NEET, the protest would continue in different forms, he said.
The leaders of alliance parties of DMK—TNCC chief Su Thirunavukkarasar, MMK chief M.H. Jawahirullah—also participated in the agitation. The DMK had decided to hold a state-wide human chain protest at its district secretaries meet on 20 July. Adopting a resolution on NEET at the meet, presided over by Stalin, the main opposition slammed the BJP regime at the centre for “shirking” its responsibility by not sending the bills to the president for his approval.
Tamil Nadu has been seeking exemption from NEET, maintaining that it would affect students from the state. In February, the assembly had passed two bills seeking to ensure continuation of the present system of admission to the medical courses in the state.[“Source-livemint”]