Mamata appeals for a joint petition by states against holding NEET, JEE

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday proposed that her counterparts in various states together move Supreme Court against its order for holding JEE and NEET examinations and appeal for its postponement if the Centre is unwilling to do so.

She also said that state governments are being "bulldozed" and their rights are being curtailed by the Centre in the name of cooperative federalism.

Banerjee said aspiring students will face enormous trouble due to the ongoing restrictions across the country and requested opposition chief ministers to move together to the apex court.

Blaming the Centre for announcing the exam dates amidst the ongoing pandemic and restrictions due to it, she said the students are facing a lot of hardships as travel by air and roads are yet to resume fully.

"Students are facing a lot of hardships and the decision by the Centre will harm the students during the pandemic," Banerjee said adding that if the law permits then chief ministers of various states can take the initiative and file a joint appeal at the apex court.

"I have written to the prime minister twice requesting him to postpone the decision to hold NEET/JEE exams. I also requested him to intervene as the Supreme Court has already passed an order and the Centre can appeal against it.

"But there has been no response. So if the Centre can't appeal then the states for the sake of the students should jointly appeal and move to SC on this issue," Banerjee said during Sonia Gandhi's virtual meeting with opposition party chief ministers.

Her comment comes a day after she wrote to the prime minister requesting the Centre to appeal against the Supreme Court order for holding the JEE and NEET examinations during the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure that the aspirants are free from "mental agony".

She wrote to Modi after the state government received a letter from the National Testing Agency on Tuesday to conduct the JEE/NEET examinations starting from September 1, 2020.

Lashing out at the Centre for not releasing funds due to the West Bengal government, Banerjee said in the name of cooperative federalism it is bulldozing the rights of the state.

"Our government is yet to get Rs 53,000 crore from the union government. The federal structure is being bulldozed. It is using central agencies against the state government. No one is allowed to talk against the central government," she said.

Banerjee said that despite the veiled threats by the Centre she will continue to speak for the rights of the people.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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