Congress corners Centre on NEET, JEE with protests, Rahul, Priyanka Gandhi ask govt to listen to students
Congress is looking to corner the Union government with nationwide protests and a social media campaign over the NEET 2020 and JEE 2020 exams that are scheduled for early September. While Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has urged people to unite and speak for students’ safety, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra appealed to the government to listen to the student community.
Congress on Friday staged several protests in different parts of the country while a group of party workers was detained during a demonstration in Delhi.
Delhi Congress leaders and workers, including its president Anil Kumar, were detained by police on Friday during the protest against holding of the JEE 2020 and NEET 2020 exams amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A protest march Kerala organized by Kerala Youth Congress turned violent and police resorted to lathi-charge the protesters. The group of protesters tried to overturn the police barricade and advance towards the Wayanad SP office when they were stopped by the police.
Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter, “Unite your voice with lakhs of suffering students. #SpeakUpFor StudentSafety... Let's make the government listen to the students.”
Meanwhile, six ministers of non-BJP state government have moved the Supreme Court seeking review of its order permitting the Centre to conduct NEET and JEE entrance exams this year even as coronavirus cases continue to peak across the country.
Several other Congress leaders also called for support towards the agitation seeking to postpone the NEET and JEE examinations which will be taken by around 27 lakh candidates across the country.
The government is however maintaining that students want to go ahead with the examination as it would otherwise cost them an academic year. The government has said that over 17 lakh admit cards have been downloaded within the first few days, which hints at the students’ mood to appear for the NEET and JEE Main exams.
Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet, “It is absolutely necessary to listen to the concerned students and their parents as the coronavirus cases continue to rise. These children are the future of this country. It is essential to be considerate towards the students’ concerns instead of looking at it with a political outlook.”
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “Aspirants are worried about the decision to hold NEET-JEE exams because of: Fear of COVID with the rise in cases, Transport & Lodging problem, Floods in Orissa, Bihar, WB and Assam causing huge mental stress & suffering. Central Govt must postpone the NEET-JEE exams (sic).”