The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday raised questions on the genuineness of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's degrees and claimed that they would turn out to be “fake” if a probe is conducted.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party have launched a fresh attack on the issue since the Gujarat High Court on Friday quashed a seven-year-old order of the Central Information Commission (CIC) that had asked the Gujarat University to provide information on Modi's degree to Kejriwal and also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on the AAP chief.
AAP had raised the issue in 2016 also and the then BJP chief Amit Shah and the then finance minister Arun Jaitley had displayed Modi's degrees during a press conference to debunk its allegations and demanded an apology from the Delhi chief minister for trying to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On Sunday, AAP Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesperson Sanjay Singh asked the prime minister to “reveal” the truth before the nation, saying if his degrees turn out to be fake, he would lose his Lok Sabha membership and also become ineligible to contest elections for submitting wrong information to the Election Commission.
“Entire BJP is rattled since the issue of the prime minister's degree came to the fore. All the ministers and spokesperson of the BJP have scrambled to prove that the prime minister's degree is not fake,” the AAP leader told a press conference here.
“If a probe is conducted the prime minister's degrees would turn out to be fake and his (Lok Sabha) membership will be cancelled,” he claimed, referring to the Election Commission's rules.
“He will neither remain an MP nor remain eligible to contest elections because the prime minister has committed a big fraud,” he alleged.
The BJP has, however, alleged that Kejriwal was attacking Prime Minister Modi as probe agencies have been unearthing "proof" of corruption of the AAP government including in the Delhi excise policy scam.
According to the Election Commission's rules, Singh said, candidates contesting elections have to submit details about their assets and properties as well as academic qualifications.
“And the Election Commission rules say that if you submit wrong information about your degree or property, your membership can be cancelled,” Singh added.
At the press conference, the AAP leader showed a purported copy of Modi's degree issued by Gujarat University and highlighted the alleged wrong spelling of the word University in the document in a bid to substantiate his claim that “it is fake”.
“The degree of the prime minister which has been made public and once shown by home minister Amit Shah at a press conference raises many questions,” he said
“Here spelling of the word university has been written as unibersity…This is the degree which Home Minister Amit Shah had shown at a press conference, saying Modi did MA from Gujarat University,” the AAP leader said, pointing to the purported document.
He also claimed that the font used to print 'Master of Arts' in his degree was introduced in 1992 while the prime minister said that he had done his MA from the varsity in 1983.
“He has come after studying entire political science from Unibercity,” the AAP leader said while taking a dig over this.
Singh also ran a purported video of Modi where he could be heard saying that he did not continue his studies after school education in his village and asked if prime minister Modi got his bachelor's degree in 1979 from Delhi University and he did MA from Gujarat University in 1983 why did he make such a statement after becoming Gujarat chief minister in 2005-06.
The AAP leader also termed as “shocking and ironical” the Gujarat High Court's verdict on the prime minister's degree issue.
“Gujarat High Court verdict was ironical and shocking as the CIC had ordered Gujarat University to show Modi's degree and the varsity filed an appeal against this order.
"But, Gujarat High Court imposed a fine on Arvind Kejriwal who had nothing to do with it. He had not even gone to file the appeal,” the AAP leader told reporters.
Kejriwal has filed the RTI application in the matter.
"I have only one question today. Whether in the 21st century, India's prime minister should be educated or not. Does India need an educated PM," the AAP chief had said on Saturday, adding if there is a valid degree of Modi, why is Gujarat University not showing it.
Gujarat University is unwilling to part with the information on Modi's degree either due to his “arrogance” or his degree is “fake”, Kejriwal charged, firing a fresh salvo at the prime minister.
- With PTI Input