New Delhi: Stepping up attack, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Saturday said the Gujarat High Court verdict on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s degree issue had further increased the “suspicion” over claims about his academic qualification and that he would not have taken steps like note ban if he was educated.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief’s remarks came a day after the Gujarat High Court quashed a seven-year-old order of the Central Information Commission (CIC) which had asked the Gujarat University to provide information on Modi’s degree to him.
The BJP hit back at Kejriwal and said his remarks indicate that he is either on the verge of losing sanity or trying to create a ground for the future in view of the probe agencies gradually unearthing “proof” of corruption under his government.
Allowing the Gujarat University’s appeal against the CIC order, Justice Biren Vaishnav had also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on Kejriwal who had sought information on Modi’s college degree through RTI and asked him to deposit the amount within four weeks to the Gujarat State Legal Services Authority (GSLSA).
“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,” Kejriwal said, 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.
“Entire country is stunned by the High Court’s order because there should be a freedom of seeking information and asking questions in a democracy,” Kejriwal said at a press conference here.
The high court’s order has increased the suspicion over the prime minister’s education, he charged.
“If the prime minister had studied at Gujarat University or Delhi University, they should have been celebrating it, instead they are hiding the information,” the Delhi chief minister said.
Kejriwal pressed on with his question on Modi’s education, saying the question becomes imperative since being the “top manager” of the country, Modi has to take so many important decisions every day, including those about science and economy.
“If the prime minister is not educated, the officers and various other people will come and get his signature anywhere, get anything passed like the note ban (demonetisation) due to which the country had to suffer a lot,” he charged.
“If Prime Minister Modi was educated, he would not have implemented the note ban.”
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) was “a very good concept” but the way it was implemented by the Modi government ruined the country’s economy, Kejriwal alleged.
“All three farm laws which were brought without holding consultation with the people had to be withdrawn eventually… So this is the way anyone can fool the PM if he is not educated,” he added.
Kejriwal contended that there can only be two reasons why Gujarat university is not ready to give information on the prime minister’s academic qualification.
“It’s either due to Modi’s arrogance, or, his degree is fake,” the Delhi chief minister charged.
The AAP chief at the same time said that being illiterate is not “a crime or sin” as there is so much poverty in the country.
“Many of us are not in a position to get formal education due to financial conditions in the families,” he said, adding poverty continues to afflict the nation even after 75 years of independence.
However, BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi slammed the AAP chief for his remarks on the prime minister.
“The AAP, whose corruption is gradually being established completely, has stooped to the lowest levels of political discourse to defend itself, he said.
“The way corruption is gradually being proved based on facts, he (Kejriwal) has perhaps reached the verge of going mad or he is deliberately trying to create a ground under pressure with some future strategy in mind,” the BJP spokesperson charged.
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