The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday released copies of BA and MA degrees of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in response to Aam Aadmi Party’s allegations questioning his degree from Delhi, but AAP hit back saying the documents were “forged” and had “glaring discrepancies” in them.
In a bid to set at rest the row over Modi’s educational qualifications, BJP president Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressed a press conference where they released the graduation degree taken from Delhi University and the masters’ degree from Gujarat University.
The two leaders launched a blistering attack on AAP leader and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accusing him of lowering the public discourse by spreading “lies” and substituting governance with “politics of adventurism”. They demanded an apology from him.
Shah and Jaitley alleged that Kejriwal has tried to turn a “lie” into truth by running a campaign to mislead the people of the country.
Jaitley said the kind of allegations that have been levelled against Modi threatens “federal polity” in the country when a UnionTerritory indulges in “irresponsible behaviour” to attack the prime minister. They challenged the Delhi chief minister to verify his claims.
“Arvind Kejriwal has been spreading lies about the PM’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 PM’s educational qualification.
“When you do not have any proof, how can you spread allegations. He should apologise to the entire nation,” said Shah, adding he will also write a letter to Kejriwal to satisfy his queries.
When asked about the authenticity of Modi’s BA degree, Shah told a reporter to check it with the DelhiUniversity.
Jaitley said it was ironical that such a charge has come from a political party several of whose MLAs are being prosecuted for having fake degrees.
“The politics of adventurism is being treated as a substitute for governance,” he said.
Kejriwal has been alleging that the Modi’s BA degree is fake and that it was obtained by a namesake of him from Alwar.
Shortly later, however, an unfazed AAP continued to persist with its claims on the issue.
AAP leader Ashutosh addressed a press conference in which he claimed Modi’s name does not match in the BA marksheet and that of the MA degree and even claimed that there were discrepancies in the year of passing as well.
“Nakal ke liye bhi akal ki zaroorat hai (One needs brains even 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 Masters degree, it is Narendra Damoderdas Modi,” said the AAP leader.
He said there were discrepancies in the PM’s name even at the BA level with it being recorded as ‘Narendra Kumar Damodardas Modi’ in one of the marksheets while it was spelt as ‘Narendra Damoderdas Modi’ in the degree certificate.
Even in BA marksheets, another AAP leader Dilip Pandey said, surname is spelt “Modi” in one case while it changes to “Mody” in another.
Refuting AAP’s allegations that the degrees released by BJP were “forged”, party’s national secretary Shrikant Sharma blamed “clerical mistakes” for discrepancies in the names and pointed out that they were the same in the final marksheet and the certificate of BA course.
He also lashed out at Kejriwal saying AAP was an “infection” that was “poisoning” the nation’s polity and said he had once gone to jail for levelling “false” charges and will be behind bars again.
Giving point-by-point rebuttal of AAP’s charges levelled at a press conference, Sharma said there were two marksheets in 1977 as Modi had taken examinations twice.
Modi had failed in the first examination, according to the marksheet, and had to reappear.
“Modi’s names in the BA marksheet and certificate of 1978 were same. As far as some differences in his names in other papers are concerned, these are nothing but clerical errors,” Sharma said.
Hitting out at AAP, he said the party had earlier claimed that the DU degree belonged to a Alwar-based person, whose name resembled that of the PM, but that person has already clarified that he was in the commerce stream.
To AAP’s question about Modi’s master’s degrees in Political Science, he said the Gujarat University Vice Chancellor has also confirmed its authenticity.
“AAP is a champion of lies. It is working at the behest of Congress and has become its B-team. Modi stands for probity and transparency in the public life. AAP had emerged with its claim of reforming politics but it has become an infection poisoning it,” he said.