Tuesday, 18 January, 2022
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It’s BJP vs BJP on JEE-NEET as Subramanian Swamy disputes Pokhriyal’s attendance numbers

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy has alleged that Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal put out different figures on JEE attendance than what Modi govt had tabled in SC.

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New Delhi: BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy’s war with the Narendra Modi government over JEE-NEET appears to be intensifying with each passing day.

Night after Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank tweeted that 8.5 lakh students had registered for the JEE Main, and 6.35 lakh of them appeared for the exams held between 1 and 6 September, Swamy disputed the figures once again Thursday. 

Pokhriyal was responding to an earlier tweet by Swamy, in which the MP claimed that 18 lakh students had downloaded the (exam) passes but only 8 lakh had appeared for the exam.

Following Pokhriyal’s tweet late Wednesday night, Swamy retorted Thursday by posting what he said was a copy of the official figures the ministry gave to the Supreme Court.

“I will soon tweet what the Ministry of Education stated to the Supreme Court as candidates registered state wide and abroad at 9,53,473 at 660 centres. The Minister’s tweet for me to see his “facts” was 8.58 lakhs. Now who’s is official?” Swamy tweeted.

He posted a sheet, claiming the government had tabled it in the Supreme Court. The sheet pegs the figure of applicants at over 9.5 lakh. “With my compliments, Minister!” Swamy tweeted.

A growing rift

The Rajya Sabha MP has been at odds with his party’s stance on a number of issues, especially the JEE-NEET. He had been quite vocal in calling for postponement of the competitive exams even though the Modi government was determined to conduct them.

On Tuesday (8 September), Swamy reiterated his demand to postpone NEET, which is scheduled to be held Sunday (13 September).

“Now that it has been decided that colleges and institutes will re-open only in January 2021, there is no reason not to delay the NEET exams to after Deepavali when the weather will be better and Coronavirus threat lower,” he tweeted.

The MP has also been having a run-in with BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya. Pokhriyal’s clarification on Twitter in response to Swamy’s tweet was shared by Malviya on his timeline.

Swamy, who had termed the BJP’s IT cell as having gone “rogue”, has handed the party an ultimatum to remove Malviya by Thursday. He has accused Malviya of running a campaign against him using fake tweets.

The MP said removing Malviya is the “compromise proposal” he has made to party president J.P. Nadda. If he is not removed by Thursday, he said, it would mean the party is not willing to “defend me”.

Also read: First Sushma Swaraj, now Subramanian Swamy. BJP IT cell is cannibalising its own


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