NewDelhi/Nagpur: It is ironical that while the Delhi police, working under instructions from Home Minister Rajnath Singh of BJP, was quick to not just register an FIR against AAP, Delhi government’s Law Minister Tomar but arrest him and also keep him imprisoned for two weeks their own Central and State Ministers Smriti Irani and Tawde are under a cloud for their own educational “inaccuracies” which are undeniable.
What is even more ironical is that both are Education Ministers – one of the whole country and the other of the state of Maharashtra. So it actually falls in their line of Duty to punish errant people – such as themselves! But it seems like the might of the entire government and the party is arrayed firmly behind them, strengthening Congress party’s allegations of double standards.
In Mumbai, MaharashtraChief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday came to the aid of his colleague Education Minister Vinod Tawde about his ‘fake degree’.
“It’s a non-issue…There is no question of his resignation. He has never suppressed the fact that he had studied from this university or such and such was his qualification,” Fadnavis told the media here.
In Delhi, a case, whose hearing is for today, has been filed against Smriti Irani, HRD Minister, for ‘falsifying’ her educational qualifications.
Senior advocate K K Manan, appearing for freelance writer Ahmer Khan, has told the court that in her affidavit for April 2004 Lok Sabha polls Irani had said that she completed her BA in 1996 from Delhi University (school of correspondence) whereas in another affidavit of July 11, 2011 for contesting Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat she said her highest educational qualification was B.Com part I from the School of Correspondence, Delhi University.
The complaint alleged that in the affidavit filed for nomination of April 16, 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Irani said she had completed Bachelor of Commerce Part-I from School of Open Learning, Delhi University
The complaint was filed by freelance writer Ahmer Khan, has alleged that Irani in her three affidavits before the EC while filing nominations for her candidature for Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha polls had purportedly given different details about her educational qualification.
“It is evident from the contents of the affidavits filed by Smriti Z Irani that at best only one of the depositions by her on oath in respect of her educational qualifications is correct,” the complaint alleged.
Congress’ Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra legislative assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil remained firm on the demand for Tawde’s resignation.
“What is all this happening? First, it was union HRD Minister (Smriti Irani), then Delhi’s (former) law minister (Jitender Singh Tomar) and now Maharashtra’s education minister (Tawde),” Vikhe-Patil said.
He pointed out that the Sant Dnyaneshwar Vidyapeeth, Pune, from which Tawde holds the degree was ‘autonomous’ in status and not accorded recognition from any agency like the UGC, AICTE or even Maharashtra’s Directorate of Technical Education (DTE).
“Tomorrow, every coaching class will start offering such degrees…It is time that the minister should register a case against himself before anybody else takes action in the matter,” Vikhe-Patil said.
As an ordinary citizen of Maharashtra, Mr. Sonak, has commented in Marathi “You cannot get the job of a teacher in any school in India if you have falsified your qualifications or are a graduate of a unrecognized ‘University’ but it sure doesn’t stand in the way of bagging positions of Education Ministers in Delhi and Mumbai, both!”|
All eyes are now turned on what the courts decide about Smriti’s ‘two’ degrees, sorry – one degree and one B.Com ‘first year’ qualification.
And to think this woman gets to decide on who heads IITs and IIMs?
Sunita Mudaliar Associate Editor