Deputy Speaker in Lok Sabha M Thambidurai and Tamil Nadu Health minister C Vijayabaskar today called on Union Commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman seeking an exemption for the state from the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test. Health department secretary J Radhakrishnan was also present during their meeting with Sitharaman in New Delhi, official sources said. During the brief interaction, the leaders sought exemption for the state from NEET. Tamil Nadu has been pressing for the Presidential assent to two bills adopted in the Tamil Nadu Assembly in February. The bills aimed at paving way for continuation of the undergraduate medical admissions on the basis of class 12 marks, exempting Tamil Nadu from the ambit of NEET for admission to MBBS/BDS courses. Chief Minister K Palaniswami had raised the NEET issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently.
A ministerial delegation had also met Modi. AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi Amma faction led by former chief minister O Panneerselvam has also taken up the issue with Modi. Opposition parties, including the DMK, have protested against the AIADMK government on the issue, with the DMK holding a human chain protest here last month to press for presidential assent to the two bills.