NEET-UG 2024: ‘Tejashwi Yadav should clarify’ —BJP, RJD lock horns over alleged links with key accused Sikandar Yadavedu

Bihar is embroiled in political controversy over NEET-UG question paper leaks, which has caused conflict between the ruling BJP-JD(U) coalition and the opposition RJD.

Livemint
First Published20 Jun 2024, 02:00 PM IST
Thousands of students hit the streets across India against this year’s NEET-UG selection process amid allegations of question paper leaks. (Representative Photo)
Thousands of students hit the streets across India against this year’s NEET-UG selection process amid allegations of question paper leaks. (Representative Photo)(HT_PRINT)

As the protests against the NEET exams have intensified across the country due to allegations of leaked question papers and biased markings, a heated political controversy has erupted in Bihar.

The claims made by the accused persons have sparked a conflict between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is part of the ruling coalition led by the Janata Dal (United), and the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

Also Read: NEET UG 2024 row: Arrested candidate confesses leaked question paper ‘matched the actual exam paper’

At the heart of this conflict is each political faction's alleged association with the accused, particularly Sikandar Yadavendu, whom authorities suspect to be the mastermind behind the NEET question paper leak.

The Patna police received a tip-off about the suspected paper leak a couple of hours before the exam on May 4. More than a dozen people were arrested, including Anurag Yadav, a NEET candidate, his uncle Sikandar Yadavendu, Nitish Kumar and Amit Anand.

Also Read: NEET-UG 2024 row: Supreme Court seeks responses from Centre, NTA on paper leak allegations

Anurag Yadav stated that his uncle had given him the leaked paper, which “contained questions identical to those on the actual exam”.

Meanwhile, Bihar Deputy CM Vijay Sinha alleged, “On May 1, Tejashwi Yadav's personal secretary Pritam Kumar called guesthouse worker Pradip Kumar to book a room for Sikander Kumar Yadavendu... On May 4, Pritam Kumar called Pradip Kumar again to book the room... The word ‘mantri’ was used for Tejashwi Yadav.”

Sinha further slammed Tejashvi Yadav and said, “Tejashwi Yadav should clarify if Pritam Kumar is still his PS, and he should also clarify who is Sikander Kumar Yadavendu.”

“When Lalu Prasad Yadav was jailed in Ranchi, Sikander Kumar Yadavendu used to be at Lalu's service,” Sinha said, adding, “he was a JE in the irrigation department.”

“They play with the future of the people. They do scams when they are in power, and they try to influence the appointment process,” Sinha alleged.

Meanwhile, Pradip Kumar said, “Pritam called me and asked me to book a room for Sikander Kumar on May 1 and then again on May 4. I asked for a requisition, which he said they would give.”

Also Read: NEET UG 2024 row: ‘If there is 0.001% negligence…’, Supreme Court tells NTA on ‘grace mark’ issue

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar also commented on the matter. “I also tweeted about it. We want justice. I thank the court for helping all of us because the lives of the children, their aspirations and desires are important,” he stated.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court took action on a plea from the National Testing Agency (NTA) regarding the NEET-UG 2024 examination. The court issued a notice and requested the transfer of petitions concerning the NEET-UG exams from various high courts to itself.

In addition, the Supreme Court has halted proceedings in the high courts on this matter.

The apex court has emphasised that the counselling process for NEET-UG will continue without interruption.

Furthermore, the top court has notified the Centre and NTA regarding a petition filed by students who appeared for the NEET-UG exam in Meghalaya. These students claimed that they lost 45 minutes during the exam and requested to be included among the 1,563 students who were granted grace marks and given the option for a re-exam on June 23.

(With inputs from ANI)

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First Published:20 Jun 2024, 02:00 PM IST
HomePoliticsNewsNEET-UG 2024: ‘Tejashwi Yadav should clarify’ —BJP, RJD lock horns over alleged links with key accused Sikandar Yadavedu

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