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From GST compensation to NEET, JEE exams: What Mamata, Sonia, Uddhav said at Oppn meeting

Among the major demands raised at the meeting were seeking financial assistance from the Centre to compensate for the slowdown due to COVID-19 lockdowns and postponement of the NEET/JEE exams.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 26, 2020 11:36:00 pm
At the virtual meeting of Opposition CMs convened by interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Voicing concerns over a range of issues, from GST compensation to NEET to ‘attacks on federal structure’, chief ministers of Opposition-ruled states decided to “work together and fight together” against the Central government during a video conference convened by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday. Among the major demands raised at the meeting were seeking financial assistance from the Centre to compensate for the economic slowdown due to lockdowns and postponement of the NEET/JEE exams.

Opposition CMs who participated in the meeting included West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Jharkhand’s Hemant Soren, Maharashtra’s Uddhav Thackeray, Punjab’s Amarinder Singh, Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot.

Here are the top quotes from the conference:

Sonia Gandhi

“Announcements such as those related to the National Education Policy should really worry us as it is actually a setback. Other problems of students and exams are also being dealt uncaringly.”

“The situation today…We cannot speak out, we cannot speak freely…from Facebook to everywhere…there is fake news, distorted news to destroy those in the oppositon.”

“In the meeting of Standing Committee of Finance on August 11, Finance Secretary, Government of India stated that Centre is not in a position to pay mandatory GST compensation of 14% for the current year. This refusal is nothing short of betrayal on part of Modi government.”

“Draft EIA legislation is anti-democratic; laws to protect environment, public health being weakened by Modi government.”

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

“This will be my request to all state govts, let us do it together, let us go to Supreme Court & postpone the exam for the time being until and unless the situation allows students to sit for exam (JEE/NEET).”

“Students are going through a crisis. Their future is uncertain. I have written to the Prime Minister several times.”

“Our government is yet to get Rs 53,000 crore from the Modi government. We cannot talk. They are using their agencies against us.”

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

“Punjab may face deficit of Rs 25,000 crore this year due to COVID-19.”

“Eleven chief ministers should collectively go to the PM and apprise him of revenue situation in states.”

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray

“We are together, we will be together and we will fight together.”

“First we will have to decide — ‘Darna hain ki ladna hain… Ladna hain to ladna hain’ (either we have to fight or fear… if we have to fight then fight). We have to protect federalism. All powers are now getting concentrated in one hand.”

Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy

“It’s high time we come together to fight Central government.”

“Conducting NEET, JEE will lead to rise in COVID-19 cases; Centre will be responsible if students get affected.”

Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren

“Ruling party using agencies against opposition, undermining federal structure.”

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