NEET face-off: TN ministers skip university convocation
Chennai, Apr 19: Close on the heels of the ruling DMK boycotting an 'At Home' reception organised by the Raj Bhavan last week in Chennai over the NEET face-off, two Tamil Nadu Ministers on Monday gave a university convocation attended by State Governor R N Ravi the miss. The incident came on a day when Chief Minister M K Stalin told the State Assembly that the April 14 boycott was due to the pendency of the anti-NEET Bill adopted by the House earlier.
Ravi, also the Chancellor of Annamalai University, presided over the 84th convocation of the well-known varsity here and presented degrees and gold medals to the students. But, Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy and his Cabinet colleague MRK Panneerselvam (agriculture) were conspicuous by their absence, though they were supposed to attend the function.
Panneerselvam later said the two Ministers did not participate in the convocation over the NEET issue.
The TN Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill, which was passed on September 13, 2021, was returned by the Governor to the government on February 1, 2022 for reconsideration. On February 8 this year, the Bill was adopted again by the Assembly and it was sent to the Raj Bhavan.
Explaining the reason for not taking part in the reception hosted by Ravi last week, Stalin said participation would have meant hurting people's sentiments and further eroding the dignity of the House, as the anti-NEET Bill was stuck in the Raj Bhavan and lying unattended.