The rival factions of the ruling AIADMK today approached the Centre over the issue of exempting Tamil Nadu from the National Entrance Cum Eligibility Test (NEET). While a group of state ministers accompanied by senior leader M Thambidurai called on Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi, rebel AIADMK leader and former chief minister O Panneerselvam met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national capital on the issue.
The state ministers called on Singh days after some of their colleagues, including Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, met Modi and some other Union ministers on the same issue. On Thursday, the ministerial delegation had submitted a memorandum to Modi, seeking presidential nod for two bills passed recently by the state assembly and now pending with the Centre. The bills pave way for the continuation of undergraduate medical admissions on the basis of Class 12 marks, exempting Tamil Nadu from the ambit of the NEET.
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Today Singh “assured to favourably” look into Tamil Nadu’s demand, an official release said. The state was represented by a delegation of six ministers, including P Thangamani (Electricity), D Jayakumar (Finance) and Law Minister C V Shanmugam. The meeting was part of the state government’s assurance to exert “pressure” on the Centre on its demand for exempting the state from NEET. The Tamil Nadu team also met Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan on NEET.
Meanwhile, Panneerselvam met Modi and took up the demand of exemption of the state from the NEET. Accompanied by senior party leaders, including some MPs of his camp, Panneerselvam also “apprised the prime minister of the difficulties” to locals at Kathiramangalam (Thanjavur) and Neduvasal (Puthukottai) due to the hydrocarbon projects there, a release said. “He sought steps without affecting people there,” it added.