Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Row over Modi’s degree: Firestorm intensifies as national parties intervene

Narada Desk | May 10, 2016 6:23 am Print
While Congress party said on Monday that BJP, instead of clearing the doubts about his certificates, is trying to make the issue more complicated, CPI(M) asked for a thorough probe into the issue
narendra modi, kejriwal, aap mla

The row over the educational qualifications of Prime Minister Narendra Modi intensifies after other national parties like Congress and CPI(M) also came forward to comment on the issue. While Congress party said on Monday that BJP, instead of clearing the doubts regarding his certificates, is trying to make the issue more complicated, CPI(M) asked for a thorough probe into the issue.

The BJP on Monday made public Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s B.A. and M.A. degrees and accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of lying over the issue. But Kejriwal insisted he was right while the AAP picked holes in Modi’s marksheets.

BJP president Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley countered Kejriwal’s allegations that Modi did not have valid B.A. and M.A. degrees and that he had lied about his educational qualifications.

“Before making such baseless allegations about someone’s personal life, one should have verified the facts. I am very ashamed that such a day would come that I’ll have to make public the prime minister’s degrees,” said Shah.

Holding aloft the Bachelor of Arts degree issued by Delhi University and the Masters of Arts degree of Gujarat University at a press conference at the BJP headquarters, Shah said Kejriwal should now apologize to the country.

“By raising this issue without any substantial proof, Kejriwal has lowered the level of politics. He has committed a sin (‘paap’) to defame the nation,” he added.

Jaitley taunted Kejriwal and said the allegations against the prime minister come from the party whose “legislators are being prosecuted for disclosing fake degrees”.

He was referring to AAP’s Jitender Singh Tomar who lost his job as a Delhi minister after his arrest over his fake degree. Another AAP legislator is under scanner over her educational qualification.

But Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) continued to rake up the issue, saying the certificates displayed by Shah and Jaitley were forged.

AAP spokesperson Ashutosh pointed out the Modi’s first year B.A. marksheet of 1975 had his name as “Narendrakumar Damodardas Modi”, the second year has “Narendra Damoderdas Mody” and the third year has his name as “Narendra Kumar Damodar Das Mody”.

Similarly, the first year M.A. marksheet from Gujarat University has the prime minister’s name as “Modi Narendra Kumar Damoderdas” while the second year marksheet names him “Modi Narendra Damoderdas”.

“Where is the affidavit where his name was changed?” Ashutosh asked, demanding to know how his surname could change from “Modi” to “Mody”.

“His M.A. degree says he had done his post-graduation in ‘Entire Political Science’. Is that even possible? There are a lot of glaring discrepancies in the certificates,” he said.

In his tweet later, Kejriwal insisted that the Bharatiya Janata Party had presented “fake” documents at the Shah-Jaitley press conference and got the “real records sealed”.

“Why? Implement CIC order. Allow inspection,” he said, referring to Central Information Commission’s ruling that Kejriwal’s letter seeking Modi’s original certificates be “deemed” as an RTI application.

Jaitley said Modi completed his studies in difficult circumstances and used to travel from Gujarat to give his B.A. examinations in Delhi, where he would stay at the ABVP office.

“Those who claim to be common men should at least praise the prime minister. ‘Isse bada aam admi ka koi aur udahran nahi ho sakta’,” Jaitley said.

Modi enrolled as a B.A. (Pass) student with the College of Correspondence Courses of Delhi University in 1975. This was the year Emergency rule was imposed, which Modi campaigned against.

The AAP has been asking Modi to show his degree certificates, saying the issue was not about his qualification but that of “fake” certificates and how the prime minister “lied” to the people.

The Congress, which was initially silent on the issue, said the certificates released by the BJP raised more doubts than clearing any. The prime minister has not commented on the row.