Published: 19th March 2019
NEET in Tamil Nadu poll manifesto: ADMK proposes, DMK disposes, Tamilisai confuses
The AIADMK-BJP alliance also has NEET exemption as part of their manifesto, yet the BJP leader was seen criticising this move
The National Eligibility Entrance Test has been a heavily debated, highly controversial topic in Tamil Nadu and now both contesting parties are vowing to do away with it in their election manifestos. There's a slight difference though, while the DMK has promised to abolish NEET completely, the AIADMK says it will urge the Centre to exempt TN from NEET till the students 'reach the standard of knowledge' required for the exam.
Strangely, the ADMK's poll ally, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, didn't seem to be tuned in to this NEET exemption stance of their dear friends.
State BJP President, Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan criticised the DMK for putting NEET abolition on their manifesto. She questioned the DMK about how they would manage to get an exemption when there was an SC order on the same. In an interview at the Chennai Airport, she said, "The Supreme Court has come to this decision after a lot of litigation. So I don't know how Stalin thinks he can overturn an SC order. We also feel for the people in the villages but Stalin cannot make such promises to them just for the sake of saying something. He doesn't know what he's talking about."
Her statement raises the question of whether the AIADMK has taken their alliance party into confidence about the manifesto.
The DMK has been protesting against the exam for a while and the AIADMK also did its best to exempt the state from NEET by taking the case to the Supreme Court. However, the recent alliance of the AIADMK and the BJP raises serious doubts about the AIADMK's promise. The Centre has been firm about establishing NEET as the national medical entrance exam and has turned down several requests from the State government to revoke it in the past. So expecting the Centre to exempt it now seems redundant, when the SC has taken the Centre's side.
Another point of contradiction in the AIADMK's manifesto is their proposal to generate more overseas employment. It reads, "Overseas Indian workers provide the backbone for generating foreign exchange income to India. There is scope for the enhancement of this opportunity. AIADMK will work for the institution of a nodal agency to generate data about overseas employment, the required skill profiles, match this data with the beneficiaries of MGR National Skill Upgradation Scheme,mobilize the skilled workforce for employment, facilitate travel documentation requirements, save them from unscrupulous mediating elements, etc. This would complete the circle of skill identification, upgradation, finding job opportunities and help the country improve its foreign exchange earnings"
This proposal seems to be contradiction with the BJPs agenda to 'Make in India' and create more businesses in the homeland. Maybe the allies need to get on the same page soon before the opposition gets wind of these fissures?