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BJP produces Modi degrees, AAP finds discrepancies

BJP president Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley display Modi's degree certificates at a press conference in Delhi on Monday. Photo: V.Sudershan

BJP president Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley display Modi's degree certificates at a press conference in Delhi on Monday. Photo: V.Sudershan  

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Amit Shah demands public apology from Arvind Kejriwal; Kejriwal questions sealing of university records; RTI activist says documents fabricated

The BJP attempted to put an end to the controversy regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s graduation and post-graduation degrees following questions raised by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, by making public Mr. Modi’s degree certificates and corresponding marksheets.

At an unannounced press conference on Monday, BJP chief Amit Shah and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley attacked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Congress and the Janata Dal (U) for “plumbing unprecedented depths in public discourse.”

‘Kejriwal should apologise’

Displaying Mr. Modi’s degree certificates, Mr. Shah said, “This should put an end to all controversy and Delhi Chief Minister [Arvind Kejriwal] should apologise for raising this issue, as should the Congress and the JD (U).”

Mr. Jaitley said Prime Minister Modi, who hails from an ordinary background that should not have been “scoffed at by parties swearing by the aam aadmi or the common man”, had completed his B.A. degree in the background of his tough circumstances and also involvement in the anti-Emergency movement.

The AAP, however, was not convinced. At a press conference, party leader Ashutosh, after going through the documents, said they had many discrepancies.

AAP terms PM’s certificates fake

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), refused to back down on the issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s educational qualifications and questioned the authenticity of the documents displayed at a press conference on Monday afternoon by BJP president Amit Shah and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

“Docs in DU hv been sealed. BJP presents Farzi [forged] docs in a PC n gets real records sealed? Why? Implement CIC order. Allow inspection,” Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.

At a press conference, senior AAP leader Ashutosh, said the degree certificates and mark sheets had many discrepancies.

“Amit Shah is not God. He can’t just show some degree in a press conference and claim that it’s real,” he said, adding he and another AAP leader, Ashish Khaitan, would visit Delhi University on Tuesday to verify the documents put out by the BJP. He “requested” Mr. Shah and Mr. Jaitley to accompany them.

He said Prime Minister Modi's B.A. marksheet was for the year 1977 while the graduating year shown on the degree certificate says 1978. He also pointed out that the mark sheets have different names. “Moreover, the name on mark sheet is Narendra Kumar Damodar Das Modi, where as on the degree it is Narendra Damodar Das Modi. Obviously, the degree is fake,” said the AAP leader.

‘Different roll numbers’

The BJP countered AAP’s allegations saying Mr. Modi cleared his B.A. exams in four years rather than three, and the roll number allotted to him for his supplementary exams in 1978 was the one mentioned in the degree as well.

“Naresh Gaurji, who was in the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and would often be at the organisation’s headquarters will vouch for the fact that Modiji would stay at that address when he travelled to Delhi to take his exams. I too met him then, since I was the president of the ABVP at that time,” the Minister said.

Mr. Gaur was present at the press conference and also vouched for the genuineness of the Prime Minister’s degrees. “I’ve known him for a long time and he used to travel to Delhi to take his BA exams as an external student,” he said.

Mr. Jaitley called the AAP’s accusations a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. “This is from a party, many of whose own MLA are facing investigations and prosecution for forging degrees,” he said. “It is time Mr Kejriwal stopped substituting governance with adventurism,” he added.

The Congress, on its part, pointed out that Monday’s press conference by the BJP “raised more questions instead of answering them.” Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala stressed that since there was no constitutional requirement for stated educational qualifications to become Prime Minister, he could not understand why the BJP had not left it to the PM to clarify the issue. Providing evidence that was full of discrepancies, he said, only lowered the prestige of the PM’s office.

For the record, Prime Minister Modi took four years to clear his Bachelor’s degree from Delhi University (graduating in 1978, after repeating his exams) and got his Masters degree from Gujarat University in 1983. Mark sheets were also appended to the docket.

V-C leaves for U.S.

Amidst the controversy, Gujarat University (GU) Vice-Chancellor (V-C) M.N. Patel has left for the United States. After the Central Information Commission’s directive asking the varsity to disclose degree certificates of the Prime Minister, the V-C had told the media that Mr. Modi had completed his Masters from the university in “entire political science” as an external candidate.

Mr. Patel had shown a mark sheet of Mr. Modi and claimed that he had earned a first class in the post-graduation from the university.

However, the varsity authorities have not given any information on Mr. Modi's under graduate degree contending that he had completed his graduation from another university so GU had no records of it.

‘Discrepancies galore’

Meanwhile, Ahmedabad-based RTI activist Roshan Shah, who was one of the first to file an RTI seeking details of Mr. Modi’s degree in 2013, claimed that the mark sheet shared by the varsity is “totally fabricated.”

“The university is recreating all the documents. It has discrepancy on name, his DOB and the subjects ‘entire political science.’ Post-graduation is done in only one subject with specialisation so there is nothing called ‘entire political science’ as claimed by the Gujarat University V-C,” Mr. Shah added.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 10:48:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/BJP-produces-Modi-degrees-AAP-finds-discrepancies/article14310247.ece

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