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Lok Sabha sees pandemonium over NEET issue; Rahul Gandhi says his mic was turned off by Speaker

Before the session began, Congress leaders Gaurav Gogoi and Manickam Tagore both moved adjournment motions under Rules 267 to discuss the NEET controversy.
Last Updated : 28 June 2024, 16:01 IST

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New Delhi: The first day of the discussion on Motion of Thanks on the President’s address was marred by disruptions with the Opposition demanding a debate on the irregularities in NEET exams.

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi said that his mic was turned off by Speaker Om Birla when he rose to speak. Parliamentary Affairs minister Kiren Rijiju and Education Minister Dhramendra Pradhan said that the government is ready for a discussion on anything, but that the Opposition should follow rules. 

Before the session began, Congress leaders Gaurav Gogoi and Manickam Tagore both moved adjournment motions under Rules 267 to discuss the NEET controversy.

Once the session began, Speaker Om Birla, who was greeted into the House by chants of “Jai Samvidhan” by Opposition MPs, read out obituary references of 13 former members of the House. This included Sushil Modi, Manohar Joshi and Shafikur Rehman Barq, among others. 

Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi then urged the Speaker to allow discussion on the NEET issue. “We want to send a joint message to the students of India… from the Opposition as well as the government … that we take this issue seriously. And so we thought that to respect students, we will discuss NEET. The thing is that there are two forces …,” Gandhi said, before his mic was cut off. 

The Speaker, however, said that an adjournment motion will not be moved during the discussion on the President’s address. “You will be given ample time to discuss any issue that you deem fit, but during the Motion of Thanks. An adjourned motion will not be allowed, this has been conveyed to you in a meeting, too,” Birla said. 

Opposition MPs then trooped into the well of the House shouting for a discussion to be held. With the disruptions, Birla first adjourned the House till noon.

Once the House was resumed with several Opposition MPs protesting, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju moved motions for elections to several committees. “There is no tradition to discuss anything during the Motion of Thanks, the Congress party is breaking the tradition. We assure the Opposition that they will be given due time to discuss any topic,” Rijiju said. The House was soon adjourned for the day. 

Later, speaking to presspersons outside the Parliament, Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the government is ready for every kind of discussion, provided the Opposition follows norms and maintains decorum.

“The President spoke about the exam in her speech yesterday and it shows the government’s intention that we are ready to face any issue. The government is responsible towards the youth and students of the country. When the government is ready to put forth its side then what is the confusion? We are going to take the strictest action and the CBI is going to nab everyone involved. We will not spare anyone,” Pradhan said.

Gandhi soon released a video message to prime minister Narendra Modi urging him to discuss the issue. “Yesterday, all the leaders of the opposition parties held a meeting and unanimously decided that today, we want a discussion on the NEET issue in the House. I urge the Prime Minister that this concerns our youth and deserves a thorough and respectful discussion. We will approach it with respect." He said.

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Published 28 June 2024, 16:01 IST

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