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Today in Politics: Congress to hold nationwide protests over NEET row, ED to challenge

The principal Opposition Congress is going to hold protests in all its state headquarters Friday over the alleged irregularities in the medical entrance exam NEET, demanding justice for the students.

In a letter to all state Congress unit chiefs, legislature party leaders, state in-charges, general secretaries and other top functionaries, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in charge of organisation, K C Venugopal, said there is an urgent need to address the numerous complaints and concerns surrounding the NEET-UG 2024’s conduct and results.

“As you are aware, the National Testing Agency (NTA) released the results of NEET-UG 2024 on 4th June 2024. The results have been marred by allegations of irregularities and paper leaks following the inflated marks of some aspirants,” Venugopal stated in his letter.

The Supreme Court has also highlighted the seriousness of these allegations, demanding zero tolerance for negligence, he noted.

“Such irregularities undermine the credibility of the examination process and jeopardise the future of countless dedicated students. The Congress party had promised to secure the future of the youth by enforcing strict laws against paper leaks in our manifesto,” Venugopal said.

In context: The NEET fiasco has led to unease in the BJP and RSS affiliates including the student wing ABVP, which said Thursday that “jab praja ke taraf se sawaal hai, to sarkar ke taraf se jawab hona chahiye (when people ask questions, the government must answer)”, as reported by The Indian Express.

Stating there was a “question mark” on the “credibility” of the NTA that conducts these examinations, ABVP national general secretary Yagywalkya Shukla, referring to the fiasco, told The Indian Express: “There is a perception of mismanagement by NTA. How is it that question papers are reaching 15-20 minutes late in certain centres? How is it that 7-8 students from the same centre get 100% marks? How did 67 students get 720 marks? There is a question mark on NTA’s credibility. Aur jab praja ke taraf se sawaal hai, to sarkar ke taraf se jawab hona chahiye.”

“Could it be that when the national leadership had its attention elsewhere (in the Lok Sabha elections), something wrong happened? The role of NTA is under the cloud of suspicion. ABVP demands that the entire episode should be investigated by the CBI. The role of NTA should be probed. The process of grace marks should be reviewed. Our delegation has already met Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan over this,” he said.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said even if there was “0.001% negligence” on the part of anyone in the conduct of the NEET-UG 2024 examination, it should be thoroughly dealt with.

Observing that students have to labour hard while preparing for these examinations, the apex court said the litigation pertaining to the NEET-UG 2024 exam ought not be treated as adversarial.

The Centre and the NTA had on June 13 told the top court that they had cancelled the grace marks given to 1,563 candidates, who took the examination for admission to MBBS and other such courses.

Recommended reading: NEET leak allegations: Bihar Deputy CM draws link to Tejashwi Yadav

Four NEET aspirants memorised answers to question paper night before test: Statement to Bihar police

ED to move HC against Kejriwal’s bail

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is going to challenge the bail granted to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the Delhi High Court on Friday.

In a huge relief to embattled CM Kejriwal, a Delhi court on Thursday granted bail to him in a money laundering case stemming from the alleged excise scam.

Special Judge Niyay Bindu also declined the ED’s prayer to keep in abeyance the bail order for 48 hours to allow the central agency to avail legal remedies like moving a superior court in appeal.

The judge ordered Kejriwal’s release on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh but imposed certain conditions before granting him the relief, including that he will not try to hamper the investigation or influence the witnesses.

The judge also directed Kejriwal to appear before the court whenever required and to cooperate with the investigation.

In its plea in the high court, the ED is expected to argue that the accused, especially acting as the CM, could tamper with evidence.
In case, its plea is rejected, the ED would have the option of going to the Supreme Court for a final order in the matter.

New Andhra Assembly session begins

The first session of the newly-constituted Andhra Pradesh Assembly will commence on June 21, after the TDP-led coalition, including Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party (JSP) and the BJP besides the N Chandrababu Naidu-led party, came to power by sweeping the state polls.

Though initially the first session was decided to convene from June 24, it has been advanced to Friday, said a TDP source on Wednesday. Senior TDP leader G Butchaiah Chowdary will officiate the first session as the Pro-tem Speaker, the source said.

The two-day session is expected to witness the swearing-in of MLAs and also the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

Atishi to go on strike over water crisis

Delhi Water Minister Atishi will go on an indefinite strike on Friday over the unresolved water issue in the capital.

She had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday over the water crisis in the city and threatened to go on an indefinite strike if the issue is not resolved.

“I have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the water crisis requesting him to resolve the issue. If the crisis is not solved within two days, I will go on an indefinite strike from June 21,” she said on Wednesday

Atishi added that she has written multiple letters to the Haryana government to resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva said, “Atishi has now stooped to theatrics to divert attention from theft and black marketing of water. Haryana provided surplus water to Delhi yesterday and there are official documents to prove it, but she is now resorting to drama.”

Sachdeva slammed the AAP government in the city, accusing them of failing to provide water to the people.

Modi to lead Yoga Day event

On a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), PM Modi will lead the International Yoga Day celebrations in Srinagar on Friday morning.

The PM will participate in the 10th International Day of Yoga event at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar. He will also address the gathering on the occasion.

– With PTI inputs

Read Nore:Today in Politics: Congress to hold nationwide protests over NEET row, ED to challenge