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TN govt will boycott Guv’s I-Day tea party over his pro-NEET comments, says CM Stalin

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CHENNAI, Aug 14 (PTI): Staunchly denouncing Governor R N Ravi’s pro-NEET stand, chief minister M K
Stalin on Monday said his government would boycott the tea party to be hosted by him on
Independence Day.
Two days ago, Ravi had said that he would never give assent to the Tamil Nadu Assembly Bill to exempt
the state from the purview of the national test if he “had the power to do so”.
The Governor’s statement has shocked students and young people, chief minister Stalin said,
condemning Ravi’s remarks.
The bill is pending with the President for her assent, and Stalin said a letter is being sent requesting her
to give her approval.
“The Governor’s comment is irresponsible and belittles Tamil Nadu’s seven-year-long anti-NEET
struggle,” the CM said.
On the eve of Independence Day, the deaths by suicide of a student, Jagatheeswaran, who desired to
pursue MBBS course after clearing NEET, and his father Selvasekhar has led to a question; Stalin
demanded to know if the freedom bestowed on the people is meant for all or whether it is only for a
few rich people.
“Starting from Anitha (Ariyalur District), many invaluable lives (of aspirants) were lost in Tamil Nadu due
to the NEET exam method… Our conscience is shaken by the moral questions raised by their deaths,” he
said in a statement.
Ravi is callously making pro-NEET comments without realising how students from poor, ordinary and
middle-class backgrounds are losing good opportunities due to that test. The Governor’s activities
appear to be indifferent to the student deaths due to NEET, the CM further said.
Stalin said the DMK regime usually ignores Ravi’s political comments on topics like those related to
“Aryan and Dravidian” and ‘Sanathanam’ (Sanatana Dharma) as “Aryan lament”. However, if the

Governor says that he would destroy marginalised people’s dreams of pursuing a course in medicine,
then “we consider it to be a conspiracy related to the education department.”
The chief minister said the future of Tamil Nadu students is important to the government. Hitting out at
the Governor, he said, “We are not the ones to come this year and go next year; whether we are in
power or not the DMK is the only party to give voice to the rights of the Tamil people.”
Ravi has been causing confusion in the higher education department, ruining state-run universities and
he is withholding his assent to assembly bills; his pro-NEET comment is the peak of it all, which is
tantamount to “destroying” the dreams of students and their parents, Stalin said.
“I strongly condemn this,” he said, adding that to mark the state government’s opposition to Governor’s
public, pro-NEET stand, “we have decided to boycott the tea party to be hosted him on August 15 in Raj
Bhavan.”

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