Aug 26 (ANI): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday that opposition ruled states such as Maharashtra, Punjab, West Bengal, Jharkhand should collectively approach the Supreme Court for deferring NEET, JEE Main exams to be held next month.
Taking part in a discussion through video conferencing with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and chief ministers of some opposition ruled states, Banerjee said she had raised her concerns with the Prime Minister.
I think we should go to Prime Minister or President before approaching the Supreme Court: Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren at Sonia Gandhi's virtual meet with CMs of 7 states#JEE_NEET https://t.co/wfRU5MSD1P pic.twitter.com/LtwTLPvHGl— ANI (@ANI) August 26, 2020
The exams are in September. Why should the lives of students be put at risk? We have written to the PM, but there has been no response. If the Prime Minister does not listen to us, then we all (states) collectively should approach the Supreme Court," she said.
Sonia Gandhi raised the issues concerning GST dues of states, the draft Environment Impact Assessment notification and National Education Policy.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said 'refusal' by the Centre to pay GST compensation to the states is nothing short of a betrayal of the trust of the people of India.
She was addressing a meeting of chief ministers of states ruled by non-NDA parties, which was convened by her ahead of the crucial GST Council meeting on Thursday and the Monsoon session of Parliament that is likely to start from September 14.
Gandhi said the issue of GST compensation being paid to states on time according to laws passed by Parliament is crucial but this is not happening.
She said dues have accumulated and the finances of all states have been affected badly, while the central government continues to profiteer from 'unilateral' cesses which are non-shareable with states and corner this revenue.
Banerjee said that apart from the movement of trains being hampered, the COVID-19 pandemic has also had a negative impact on the mental health of the students.
"I request the state governments, let us do it together. Let's go to the Supreme Court and request it to postpone it for the time being (till) the situation is right. We stand by our students, whatever help they require, we are willing to do it," she said.
Banerjee also talked about pending Goods and Services Tax (GST) dues of West Bengal.
Centre has not paid GST compensation to the states for the last 4 months. Today, the situation is fearful: Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel at Sonia Gandhi's virtual meet with CMs of 7 states pic.twitter.com/JTdTypIGnX— ANI (@ANI) August 26, 2020
"We had to get Rs 4,100 crore in May, June, but we have not received it. So how do we run the government? The pandemic is ongoing, and we are not getting a single paisa... I can tell our state stands to get Rs 53,000 crore from the Centre," Banerjee said.
She said that the state governments have to provide free of cost treatment, medicines, ventilators, ambulances to the people but claimed they were not getting anything from the Centre.
"We are trying our best, but it has become very difficult to pay the salaries to workers. No funds are available, the unorganised sector, MSMEs, farmers are suffering a lot," she said, adding that in India "there is an acute crisis and we cannot speak about it freely, the media also cannot speak." (ANI and PTI)