Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday rejected the three-language formula proposed by the Centre in the new National Education Policy and said the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam will not deviate from the two-language policy followed in the state, PTI reported.

On July 29, the Centre announced sweeping reforms under the NEP. This included teaching in one’s mother tongue or regional languages up to Class 5, allowing foreign universities to set up campuses in India, and a single regulator for higher education institutions, except for law and medical colleges. The policy also said that the various educational boards will continue to conduct 10th and 12th board exams but the stakes of these exams will be minimised.

“Tamil Nadu will never allow the Centre’s three-language policy,” the chief minister said after a Cabinet meeting at the Secretariat in Chennai. “The state will continue with its dual language policy [of Tamil and English].”

Palaniswami requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the three-language formula so that states could implement their respective policies. “The three-language formula in the NEP is painful and saddening,” he added.

Palaniswami also recalled the anti-Hindi protests by students of the state in 1965 and the resolution passed during Chief Minister CN Annadurai’s tenure in 1968 to reject the three-language policy, according to The Hindu. Former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa too had maintained that Hindi should not be imposed on people and any such efforts would not be successful, he said.

He warned that the state government would take steps at once if the interests of the Tamil language or that of Tamils is affected by the move. “The collective sentiments of the people in Tamil Nadu and political parties, including the AIADMK, are only for following the two-language policy,” the chief minister said.

On August 2, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief MK Stalin said the New Education Policy was an attempt to impose Hindi and Sanskrit languages on the entire country.

Palaniswami’s comments came a day after Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said the Centre would not impose any language on states. He clarified the same through a tweet in Tamil to former Union Minister from the state Pon Radhakrishnan. Nishank said he was looking forward to Radhakrishnan’s guidance in implementing the NEP in Tamil Nadu.