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'Road less traveled' no more for BJD: Patnaik's party joins Opposition stir against NEET in Parliament

BJD Rajya Sabha floor leader Sasmit Patra said the Opposition was demanding a discussion on NEET which is a "very important issue today which is plaguing the hearts and minds of millions" of students and their parents.
Last Updated : 28 June 2024, 16:29 IST

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New Delhi: The Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Friday walked on a road it has not treaded so far by joining the Opposition in its protest against the ruling BJP on NEET exam issue in Rajya Sabha, entering the Well of the House and later walking out.

The party had on June 24 announced that it would be a “strong and vibrant Opposition” in Parliament. BJD has nine MPs in Rajya Sabha while it did not win a single Lok Sabha seat in the recent elections. The Opposition I.N.D.I.A. has 86 MPs.

BJD Rajya Sabha floor leader Sasmit Patra said the Opposition was demanding a discussion on NEET which is a "very important issue today which is plaguing the hearts and minds of millions" of students and their parents.

"It also is a reflection of our times presently. So it was a very just demand for a specific discussion regarding NEET and it was rightfully raised by the members of Parliament. Unfortunately, it was not allowed in either house," he said.

In a post on 'X', he said the BJD MPs joined the protest against the corruption and irregularities in the NEET exam in Rajya Sabha.

The BJD MPs participated in the protest "standing up in their respective places and then moving to the front of the House and further demanding discussion on it in the Rajya Sabha today. When their protest was not heeded to, the BJD MPs also went to the well of the House registering their strong protest as a robust and dynamic Opposition party on the floor of the Parliament".

"The BJD MPs strongly protested against the BJP-led Government of India in the Parliament and went to the Well of the House twice, voicing the concerns of the students and parents of Odisha who are adversely affected due to NEET irregularities and corruption," he said.

In another post, he said, "BJD MPs along with the entire Opposition walked out in protest from Rajya Sabha now after the demand for adjournment of the House was not done despite RS MP Phulo Devi Netam fainting in the well of the House during protest."

The BJD actions have been in sharp contrast to earlier times when it used to support BJP initiatives though it was not part of the NDA. The latest decision is seen as recalibration of its strategy after losing badly in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

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Published 28 June 2024, 16:29 IST

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