Stating that it was pointless to rake up the issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s academic qualifications to the exclusion of addressing pressing issues affecting the country, Maharashtra leader of Opposition and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar said that the people of India did not vote for Mr. Modi on the basis of his degree but for his charisma.
Speaking to reporters in Mumbai on Monday, Mr. Pawar said it was ridiculous to question the validity of the academic degrees of someone who has been helming the country for nearly nine years.
“People did not vote for Mr. Modi by seeing his academic qualifications. Mr. Modi came to power owing to his own charisma and helped enhance the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) presence throughout the country…Politics is not medicine where one is not allowed to operate without an MBBS degree. It is ridiculous that someone who has been leading the country for close on nine years now is being asked to show his degree,” Mr. Pawar said, backing the PM despite being in the Opposition.
Remarking that the vital questions of the day were ratcheting price rise and unemployment, Mr. Pawar further said there was no need to give such issues any importance.
Mr. Pawar’s remark was a sharp rebuke to his ally — the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray), which demanded that PM Modi ought to come forward and inform the public about his academic qualifications.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, through the Chief Information Commission (CIC), had sought to obtain details of the PM’s degree via the RTI route. However, the Gujarat High Court fined Mr. Kejriwal ₹25,000, while casting aspersions on his motive for seeking details already available in the public domain.
However, the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) backed Mr. Kejriwal, with Mr. Thackeray heaping censure on Mr. Modi for the Gujarat court’s action in fining Mr. Kejriwal, while speaking at Sambhajinagar on Sunday.
Speaking in Delhi today, Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut questioned the reason for the PM to ‘hide’ his degree.
“Narendra Modi sold tea at a railway platform and did his MA in Political Science. So, why not display this degree at the grand entrance of the new Parliament building built by the PM. Let the lawmakers and the country be aware of his educational qualifications given that many people have raised doubts that it may be bogus,” Mr. Raut said.