State Congress chief Rameshwar Oraon (Centre) at the protest venue
RANCHI: Congress on Friday hit the streets of Ranchi to demand the postponement of the examinations while BJP accused the ruling alliance of demanding postponement in order to provide financial benefits to private coaching institutes.
Led by its president Rameshwar Oraon, Congress functionaries sat on a dharna outside the Raj Bhawan on Friday morning. Oraon said, “Conducting the exams at a time when thousands of cases are being reported is not a wise decision. It exposes the aspirants and their parents to the risk of becoming infected. The exams should be postponed.”
Oraon said former AICC chief Rahul Gandhi also demanded deferment of the exams along with chief ministers of various BJP-ruled states also expressed their concern.
Congress’ dharna came a day after Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) threatened to lodge a criminal case against Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” if any aspirant gets infected with Covid-19 while appearing for the NEET exams, scheduled between September 6 and September 13 and JEE (Advanced), scheduled on September 27.
Late on Thursday night, CM Hemant Soren had written an open letter to Pokhriyal requesting postponement of the exams citing logistic issues and the health risks. Hemant on Wednesday had also suggested non-Congress CMs to make a plea to President Ram Nath Kovind in this regard.
Meanwhile, BJP on Friday attacked JMM and Congress for their stance over NEET and JEE (Advanced) exams. BJP’s state spokesperson and former Baharagora MLA Kunal Sarangi said, “While majority of the aspirants are willing to take the tests, JMM and Congress are seeking postponement at the provocation of a handling of private coaching institutes. If the exams are postponed, the careers of these students will suffer.”
Sarangi also claimed the state government was adopting dual standards. “While state varsities are determined to conduct their exams, the state government is flagging the issue of transportation. Instead of complaining, the government must make all arrangements,” Sarangi said.
BJP’s Rajya Sabha member Mahesh Poddar also wrote to chief secretary Sukhdev Singh on Friday. Stating the government had arranged transport for lakhs of migrants during lockdown, Poddar said the arrangement for the movement and lodging of aspirants and their parents, which is anywhere between 25-30,000 in number, will be relatively easier.