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Will raise NEET 'paper leak' issue personally in Parliament: Rahul Gandhi

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge alleged that under the BJP's rule, the "education mafia" has a free hand to indulge in corruption.
Last Updated : 21 June 2024, 19:53 IST

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New Delhi: The Congress on Friday held protests across the country over alleged irregularities in the medical entrance exam NEET with Rahul Gandhi saying he will personally raise the issue in Parliament and the opposition will put pressure on the government to ensure justice for students.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge alleged that under the BJP's rule, the "education mafia" has a free hand to indulge in corruption.

"Seventy papers have been leaked in seven years and the future of two crore youth has been ruined. The NEET exam paper leak scam is a symbol of the Modi government's utter indifference towards the youth," he said.

The Congress held a protest across the country over the issue, Kharge said and asserted that his party would raise the voice of the youth strongly.

Slamming the Centre over the alleged irregularities in NEET, Rahul Gandhi has said he will personally raise the issue in Parliament and the opposition will put pressure on the government to ensure justice for students.

He shared a video of his meeting with a group of NEET aspirants and their parents on Thursday amid the ongoing row over the alleged irregularities in NEET-UG 2024.

In his post along with the video, Gandhi said the future of lakhs of students is in limbo due to the "incompetence" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministers.

"Met and interacted with students who were harassed by paper leak and cheating in NEET exam. This is the biggest injustice to the aspirations of 24 lakh youth, their parents, who have been working hard for their goal for years," he said in his post on YouTube in Hindi.

This kind of crime has caused the loss of precious time of children, loss of lakhs of rupees spent in preparation for the exam and most importantly, it has affected the mental health of the ambitious youth of the country, Gandhi, a former Congress president, said.

"I assure the youth of the country that I stand with them against injustice. The Congress party will protest against paper leak and cheating in the exam across the country in the coming days and will ensure justice for them," the Rae Barelli MP said.

In the video, Gandhi said, "I want to speak with 24 lakh students who have suffered due to the NEET paper leak. From the streets to Parliament, we are standing with you. I want to say to 24 lakh students that you are not alone. In the last seven years, there have been 70 paper leaks and two crore youth have lost out due to it." "We will fight this fight together and win it," he added.

In the video of the interaction, the students shared their sufferings with Gandhi who assured them of support.

To a student who pointed out that UGC-NET had been cancelled by the Education Ministry and the Supreme Court had also taken cognisance of the NEET issue, Gandhi said it was made possible due to political pressure.

"Both institutions will decide on it when you put pressure. If you apply pressure in the right manner, don't back down and if a lot of students stand together, then both institutions will cancel it," he said.

Towards the end of the video, Gandhi said if the government doesn't protect you, the opposition will.

"I will raise this issue of yours personally in Parliament and we will put full pressure on the government," he said.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also launched a scathing attack on the government over exam paper leaks, saying the issue has become a national problem under the BJP rule which has "ruined the future" of crores of youth.

In a post in Hindi on 'X', she said, "In the last five years, papers of 43 recruitment exams have been leaked in the country. Paper leak has become a national problem of our country under BJP rule which has ruined the future of crores of youth so far." "India is the youngest country in the world. We have the largest youth population. Instead of making these youth skilled and capable, the BJP government is making them weak," Priyanka Gandhi alleged.

Crores of talented students study hard day and night and prepare for different exams, and parents bear the burden of studies by sacrificing everything, she said.

"Children wait for years for a vacancy to come. When a vacancy comes, there is the cost of filling the form, the cost of going for the exam, and finally the whole effort is wasted due to corruption. The BJP's corruption is weakening the country," Priyanka Gandhi said.

Rahul Gandhi on Thursday attacked the Centre over the alleged irregularities in NEET and exam paper leaks issue, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi has "psychologically collapsed" post-elections and will now struggle to run the government.

He had also said the main reason for paper leaks was that educational institutions had been captured by the BJP and its parent organisation RSS. He asserted that paper leaks will not stop unless that is reversed.

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to defer the NEET-UG counselling process, scheduled to kick off on July 6, saying it is not an "open and shut" exercise, even as the political pot kept boiling over the controversy-ridden exam with the opposition attacking the Centre over alleged paper leak and other irregularities.

The National Testing Agency (NTA), under fire over the lapses in the conduct of NEET and UGC-NET, is gearing up to conduct on Sunday a retest for the medical entrance exam for 1,563 candidates who were earlier awarded grace marks to make up for the loss of time at six centres.

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Published 21 June 2024, 19:53 IST

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