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Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today accused the BJP-led Union government of pursuing "injurious" economic policies that have forced farmers to commit suicide and caused heavy losses to his government. Narayanasamy, at a demonstration called by alliance partner DMK against the Union government's decision to impose NEET-based selection of students for medical courses, said the heavy losses Puducherry suffered was mainly due to the Centre's policies such as the Goods and Services Act (GST). The senior Congress leader also criticised the sudden demonetisation of high-value currency in November last year, which had led to chaos across the country. He said the Union government's "injurious policies" had been "chiefly responsible for suicides of farmers" across India. "The implementation of the GST from July led to serious setback in revenue flow to Puducherry." On the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), he said the decision has led to confusion among students. He demanded that "Education", now under the 'Concurrent List' in the Constitution, should be brought under the 'State List'. "We have sought exemption of Puducherry from NEET by adopting a resolution in the assembly.
We have also submitted a draft bill on the subject to the Centre. Both the resolution and the draft bill were gathering dust and no action had been taken on our plea for exemption of Puducherry from NEET", he said. Narayanasamy said the demonstration was organised in keeping with the announcement of the DMK working president and leader of opposition in Tamil Nadu assembly M K Stalin. Convener of DMK Puducherry unit R Siva MLA said the protest was only the first of a series of agitations to come. Accusing Lt Governor Kiran Bedi of blocking the Congress government's welfare schemes, he warned of protests against her. PCC president and PWD minister A Namassivayam, Deputy Speaker V P Sivakolundhu, leaders and workers of the Congress DMK, CPI, CPI (Marxist), VCK, Manidha Neya Makkal Iyakkam, Dravidar Kazhagam and a number of student bodies participated in the protest.
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