NEET, ‘manipulation’ of stock market on Opposition’s Parliament agenda

New Delhi: The Opposition INDIA bloc is set to focus on recent controversies surrounding the conduct of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Undergraduate) or NEET-UG 2024 and alleged stock market “manipulation” following exit polls and highlight key issues of price rise and unemployment during the upcoming inaugural session of the 18th Lok Sabha.

The session, which will be a brief one, is tightly packed with mandatory agendas such as the oath-taking of newly elected Lok Sabha members and the address by President Droupadi Murmu to the joint sitting of both Houses, with a limited space for the Opposition to raise its agenda. The session will start on June 24 for the Lok Sabha and June 27 for the Rajya Sabha and end for both on July 3.

“Our top priority would be a debate on NEET. We consider NEET-UG exam was a scam. Our party president Mallikarjun Kharge has raised serious questions over its conduct this year. There are serious questions on the integrity of the NTA (National Testing Agency), too, and the manner in which NEET is designed and administered,” a senior Congress leader said.

Ever since the NEET-UG results were announced on June 4, protests have swept across India as thousands of students hit the streets against this year’s process amid allegations of question paper leaks, inflated marking and arbitrary allowance of grace marks.
Attacking the Centre over NEET row, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said: “Narendra Modi, as usual, is maintaining silence on the tampering with the future of more than 24 lakh (2.4 million) students in the NEET examination. The arrests made in Bihar, Gujarat and Haryana clearly show there has been organised corruption in the examination in a planned manner and these BJP-ruled states have become the epicentre of paper leak.”
Gandhi, who is all set to become the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, added: “While fulfilling the responsibility of the opposition, we are committed to formulate such tough policies by strongly raising the voice of the youth from the streets to Parliament and putting pressure on the government.”

The INDIA bloc, which has 234 members in the 18th Lok Sabha, is also expected to raise its concern over the alleged stock market manipulation. On Tuesday, a delegation of leaders from the Trinamool Congress (TMC), Shiv Sena (UBT) and Nationalist Congress Party (SP) met officials of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and demanded a probe into the alleged stock market manipulation following exit polls earlier this month.
Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into what he described as the “biggest stock market scam”, alleging involvement of both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah in it.
“The Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the exit pollsters working for them and their friendly media have together conspired to commit the biggest ‘stock market scam’ in India. ₹30 lakh crore of 5 crore (50 million) small investor families have been lost. We demand that a JPC be formed to investigate this ‘criminal act’,” Gandhi had posted on X on June 6.

While a section of the Opposition may seek a separate and full debate, it might have no option but to use the debate on the President’s address to raise these issues.
“In the session, it will be the continuation of the issues that we raised during the election season. In the debate on the President’s speech in both Houses, issues such as price rise and unemployment will be highlighted. We will demand answer from the PM,” a senior Congress strategist said.
In the Lok Sabha, the first three days of the upcoming session will see oath-taking of newly elected lawmakers and the election of the Speaker. Murmu will address both Houses on June 27 and the remaining part of the session is likely to be used to debate and pass a motion of thanks to the President for her speech.
(The Hindustan Times)