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Vagisha Kaushik|Mar 27, 2023
CHENNAI: The DMK consistently opposed the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and ensured it did not set foot in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister MK Stalin claimed on Wednesday and accused the previous AIADMK regime of thrusting the test upon the State.
The travails due to enforcement of the eligibility test was because the AIADMK regime under K Palaniswami allowed the test to be conducted, despite DMK's efforts to keep it at bay, he said as former Chief Minister Palaniswami sparred on the issue during a debate in the Assembly.
Attempting to pin down the DMK government over its election promise of scrapping the test for the State, Palaniswami, who is the leader of the opposition, while raising the issue, blamed the UPA regime of which the DMK was a constituent for introducing the national-level screening test.
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"We didn't accept it. We have been opposing it from the beginning. NEET did not enter Tamil Nadu when Kalaignar (M Karunanidhi) and AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa ruled. But you allowed your ally the BJP to enforce it," Stalin claimed. The State, Palaniswami said, had no choice but to implement the Supreme Court order on the subject.
"The then AIADMK government opposed NEET. An Assembly resolution was adopted and sent to the Centre for favourable action," he said. Joining the debate, State Health Minister Ma Subramanian claimed the AIADMK's assembly resolution was a setback as the Centre had returned it.
"You did not go on record then to inform the Assembly House about the Centre's rejection," he said. AIADMK former State Minister Natham R Viswanathan accused the ruling DMK of adopting double standards on several issues. The party took one posture when it was in the opposition and adopted diametrically opposite stance after coming to power, he alleged.
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"For instance, as opposition leader Stalin had demanded the Palaniswami government to enhance the Pongal gift to Rs 5,000 from Rs 2,500 to family ration cardholders. But after becoming Chief Minister you have reduced the sum to a mere Rs 1,000 as against Rs 2,500 that was given. Atleast, you should have fulfilled your earlier demand," Viswanathan said.
Similar was the DMK's stance with regard to the Chennai-Salem 8 lane corridor. After opposing it, since the project was brought by the AIADMK rule, the DMK is now supporting it. "I am happy that you endorse it now," Viswanathan remarked. State Food Minister R Sakkarapani claimed the DMK had sought an enhanced sum as Pongal gift as the people could not step out of their houses due to COVID-19 lockdown and many had lost their livelihood.
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