Members of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Congress and Trinamool Congress staged a walk-out from Rajya Sabha on Friday to protest against the Tamil Nadu governor for returning the Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill, The Hindustan Times reported.
The Bill, which was passed in September, sought to exempt students from taking the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, or NEET, for admission to undergraduate medical courses in the state. It had proposed admitting students to these courses based on Class 12 examination results.
On Thursday, Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi returned the Bill saying that it was against the interests of the students, especially those from rural and economically poor backgrounds.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leaders on Friday insisted on raising the issue in Parliament but were not allowed to speak by Rajya Sabha
Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu, NDTV reported. They were told to return to their seats and “let others speak”.
The leaders contended that the Bill had been passed unanimously by the Tamil Nadu Assembly and that the governor’s action was “against the will of the people of the state”.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam member Tiruchi Siva and other party members entered the Well of the House raising the issue during Zero Hour. The members also demanded that the Tamil Nadu governor be recalled.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge requested Naidu to allow the protesting members to speak. When he refused, members of the Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Trinamool Congress and other Opposition parties walked out of the House.
Siva later said that the Tamil Nadu governor did not send the NEET Bill to the Centre despite Chief Minister MK Stalin’s multiple requests, ANI reported. “He [Governor Ravi] acted against [the] federal spirit,” Siva said.
DMK did not present ‘correct data’, says AIADMK
The Opposition party in Tamil Nadu, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, on Friday, said that the state government did not provide “correct data” to the governor, leading him to reject the Bill, PTI reported. The Bill was returned to the Speaker of the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Tuesday for its “reconsideration by the House”.
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam coordinator O Panneerselvam blamed the “complacent” attitude of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led state government.
Stalin has convened an all-party meeting on Saturday to discuss the matter, The Indian Express reported. In a statement on Twitter in Tamil, Stalin said the state government will ensure the Bill is passed in the Assembly.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, however, will not attend the meeting, its legislative party leader Nainar Nagendran said, according to The Indian Express. He added that the meeting goes against the Supreme Court verdict. “They are also planning to pass a resolution against the governor and, hence, we won’t participate in the meeting,” he was quoted as saying.