Student protests over alleged irregularities in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and other competitive exams have intensified across the country. The Opposition has announced plans to raise the issue in Parliament tomorrow, seeking to pursue the government. Despite the day’s schedule being dedicated to a discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address, government sources told NDTV that they are “ready” to address any questions regarding NEET.

“In the meeting of leaders of INDIA parties at Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence, the leaders decided to give notice in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha demanding a discussion on the NEET examination issue tomorrow,” news agency ANI reported citing sources.

“On Monday, INDIA parties leaders will hold a demonstration at the Gandhi Statue in Parliament on alleged political vendetta, and misuse of CBI and ED against the Opposition. The arrest of Delhi CM and ministers, arrest of Hemant Soren and arrest of 3 Ministers in West Bengal,” it added.  

The government claims to have taken extensive actions on the NEET issue, including initiating a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe and firing a special committee to investigate. The committee’s report is expected soon. Additionally, new stringent rules against cheating and paper leaks are likely to be tabled this session, with strong action promised against the culprits to establish a robust education system, NDTV report said. 

If the matter arises tomorrow, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will respond. Pradhan was recently heckled by the Opposition over the NEET controversy when he took his oath in Parliament.

President Droupadi Murmu addressed the joint session of Parliament today, stating the government’s commitment to a fair probe into the NEET issue.

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh indicated the Opposition’s aggressive stance, stating, “The mandate of the Lok Sabha polls is a personal, political, and moral defeat of the Prime Minister. The opposition will remind him of this every day”. 

As per the NDTV report, the decision to prioritise the NEET issue was made during a meeting this evening amidst public anger. Protests and demonstrations have surged nationwide since June 4, when the NEET results were declared, amidst allegations of paper leaks and grace marking.

Earlier today, the Congress student NSUI stormed the office of the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts NEET, demanding its closure. This followed a protest by the Youth Congress near Parliament.

The NEET controversy has given the revitalised Opposition its first opportunity to target the BJP-led government at the start of its third term. Rahul Gandhi accused BJP-ruled states of being the “epicentre of paper leaks,” referencing the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh 15 years ago, which involved major irregularities in entrance exams for government jobs. Gandhi claimed that similar issues have now spread to other BJP-ruled states, citing a recent paper leak in the Uttar Pradesh Police Constable exam. 

The government countered by alleging a connection between key I.N.D.I.A ally Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Tejashwi Yadav and those arrested in the Bihar paper leak case. The RJD has denied these claims. 

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