Arun Jaitley comes to Smriti Irani’s defence, says Rahul Gandhi got M.Phil without Masters degreehttps://indianexpress.com/elections/arun-jaitley-rahul-gandhi-smriti-irani-educational-qualifications-mphir-masters-degree-5673716/

Arun Jaitley comes to Smriti Irani’s defence, says Rahul Gandhi got M.Phil without Masters degree

In 2009, amid a row over Gandhi's foreign degrees, the University of Cambridge had said the Congress leader was a student of Trinity College and was awarded an M.Phil in Development Studies in 1995.

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Union Minister Arun Jaitley. (Express file photo)

A day after Union Minister Smriti Irani was accused of “falsifying her educational records“, Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday took a swipe at Rahul Gandhi and asserted that the Congress chief attained an M.Phil without a Masters degree.

Launching a fresh salvo at the Opposition in his latest Facebook blog, Jaitley said a “public audit” of Gandhi’s educational qualifications would leave several questions unanswered. “One day the focus would be on the BJP candidate’s educational qualification, fully forgetting that a public audit of Rahul Gandhi’s academic credentials may leave a lot to be answered. After all, he got an M.Phil without a Masters degree,” he said.

In 2009, amid a row over Gandhi’s foreign degrees, the University of Cambridge had said the Congress leader was a student of Trinity College and was awarded an M.Phil in Development Studies in 1995.

The controversy over Irani’s qualifications reignited on Friday after the minister, in her election nomination paper, said that she did not complete her graduation. However, in her affidavit for 2014 polls, Irani had reportedly said that she had graduated from Delhi University’s School of Open Learning with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1994.

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Besides the demand to know Gandhi’s educational qualifications, Jaitley also took on the Congress over a purported letter by Army veterans to President Ram Nath Kovind against the use of military operations by political parties during the polls. Terming it “Signature Campaign Propaganda,” the minister said, “The Signature Campaign Propaganda proved to be terrible for the Congress party as many of academics, economists, artistes, ex-civil servants & even some former soldiers, whose signatures been put, publicly stated that they never consented for putting their signatures.”

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The senior BJP leader also said owing to the Prime Minister’s popularity, the Opposition will not be able to oust the government over “fictional” issues. “To oust a popular govt. an extremely popular Prime Minister, you need real issues not fictional ones. The Opposition wasted the past two years in the run-up to the poll “manufacturing issues” which didn’t exist. The Rafale or the EVM proved to be fake issues only,” he wrote.

“First phase of 2019 parliamentary polls got over & the “Modi” factor was writ large across the country. Opposition parties still renting an issue & are in disarray as alliances in many States have not worked out. Obviously the multi-cornered contest favours the BJP,” he added.

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