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War of words erupts between AAP and BJP over PM Modi’s degrees

The BJP chief announced that the PM had obtained his B.A. degree from Delhi University and his M.A. degree from Gujarat University.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: May 10, 2016 9:20:37 am
modi degree row, modi degree, narendra modi, PM modi degree, modi ma degree, modi ba degree, arvind kejriwal, aam aadmi party, bjp, amit shah, arun jaitley, india news Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

THE POLITICAL firestorm over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s educational qualifications intensified Monday with the BJP producing what it said were copies of his graduate and post-graduate degrees, and the AAP terming them as “forged”.

The Congress joined the war of words by saying that the BJP, instead of answering doubts, had raised more questions while the CPI(M) demanded a probe into all allegations.

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The latest round of charges and counters was triggered by BJP president Amit Shah and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who said at a press conference that AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had lowered the level of public discourse by spreading “lies” and committing “the sin of defaming the country”.

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They also released copies of Modi’s bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Delhi University and Gujarat University, respectively. “The politics of adventurism is being treated as a substitute for governance,” said Jaitley.

In response, AAP leader Ashutosh alleged that the documents produced by Shah and Jaitley were “forged” and that they contained “glaring discrepancies”, including in name and year of issue.

When contacted by The Indian Express, Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi said, “It is the RTI cell which looks into these matters, they would have the information.” DU Chief Public Information Officer (CPIO) Meenakshi Sahai did not respond to calls and texts.

“Arvind Kejriwal has been spreading lies about the Prime Minister’s credentials. He has committed the sin of defaming the country. It is very unfortunate that we have to hold a press conference about the Prime Minister’s educational qualification. When you do not have any proof, how can you spread allegations. He should apologise to the entire nation,” said Shah.

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Defending Modi, Jaitley said Modi had appeared for the Delhi University examinations during 1977-78, adding that at the time he was not known to many. “I knew this because I was a student union leader in Delhi University then…These allegations are coming from a party several of whose leaders are being prosecuted for fake degrees,” said Jaitley.

But AAP leader Ashutosh said Shah, Jaitley and Modi should apologise “for this forgery”.

“Nakal ke liye akal zaroorat hai (one needs brains to copy). The BA marksheet is dated 1978 while the degree is of the year 1979. His name in the BA marksheet is Narendra Kumar Damodardas Modi while in the master’s degree, it is Narendra Damoderdas Modi… His MA degree says he had done his post-graduation in ‘entire political science’. Is that even possible? There are a lot of glaring discrepancies in his degrees. We have proved that the degrees are forged. Amit Shah, Arun Jaitley and Modi should apologise for this forgery, which is a crime,” said Ashutosh.

The Congress, later, echoed AAP’s line that there were discrepancies in the documents produced by the BJP. Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the three BA marksheets of the Prime Minister, released by the BJP, were issued in 1977, 1978 and 1979, respectively. “If one has passed on February 17, 1979, how can one get a degree in 1978? The last marksheet is from February 1979, how did he get a degree in 1978?” he said.

Surjewala also raised questions about how the Prime Minister’s name was spelt in the documents. He said one marksheet spelled the Prime Minister’s surname as “Mody” and another “Modi”. Surjewala alleged that the name of Modi’s father was also spelt differently in different marksheets.

Echoing AAP’s allegations, he said, “I have never seen in my entire student, academic and political career an ‘entire political science’ degree.” This needs to be clarified,” he said.

Surjewala said that the Prime Minister should place his original marksheets and certificates in the public domain “to clear the confusion”.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury demanded a probe into the Prime Minister’s degrees. “One side says it’s genuine and the other side says it’s forged. Let there be a probe,” Yechury said.

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