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I.N.D.I.A. bloc to demand NEET debate in Parliament today

With all I.N.D.I.A. parties set to give notices in both Houses for an immediate debate instead of starting the discussion on a Motion of Thanks to the President, the proceedings in the Houses are likely to be disrupted, with the presiding officers unlikely to accept the demand.
Last Updated : 28 June 2024, 02:00 IST

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New Delhi: The I.N.D.I.A. bloc will demand suspending business and holding an immediate discussion on the NEET fiasco in both Houses of the Parliament on Friday, signalling that the Opposition is not in the mood to give a walkover for the ruling BJP.

With all I.N.D.I.A. parties set to give notices in both Houses for an immediate debate instead of starting the discussion on a Motion of Thanks to the President, the proceedings in the Houses are likely to be disrupted, with the presiding officers unlikely to accept the demand.

On Monday, the Opposition will stage a protest against the use of central agencies for “political vendetta”.

The decisions were taken at a meeting of I.N.D.I.A. bloc floor leaders chaired by Congress president and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. Rahul Gandhi also attended his first such meeting of floor leaders as Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

Sources said it was Rahul who first suggested that the Opposition should devote a full day to the NEET issue in Parliament while suggesting that they should wear black bands during discussions. A consensus then emerged over seeking a standalone debate on NEET.

While government sources indicated that Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is likely to speak on the issue, Opposition leaders made it clear that one-way traffic would not be acceptable and they would want to speak in the Parliament. It would be unfair to lakhs of students and their families if we did not raise it on the first day itself, a senior Opposition leader told DH.

Sources also said the Opposition does not want a washout of the session, and that was why they decided to restrict their protest on misuse of CBI and ED to a protest outside the House near the location where Gandhi Statue was located.

“Removing the Gandhi statue will not stop our protests. We can have a picture of the Gandhi statue in the same location and do our protest,” sources quoted Kharge as saying in the meeting.

Sources said Parliament could witness intense protest inside the House if their notices for adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha and suspension of business (Rule 267) to discuss NEET are disallowed. The demand will be for a response from the Prime Minister or the Education Minister after debate.

“The youth in the country want to hear their MPs speak on the NEET issue on the first opportunity itself. We must have one day of discussion on this,” Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha floor leader Derek O’Brien said after the meeting.

Besides those from Congress and Trinamool Congress, leaders like Sharad Pawar (NCP-SP), K Kanimozhi (DMK), Sanjay Singh (AAP), Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena-UBT), K Radhakrishnan (CPM), P Sandosh Kumar (CPI) and Mahua Majhi (JMM) among others, attended the meeting.

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Published 28 June 2024, 02:00 IST

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