AAP plans to go aggressive on Modi’s degree row; to visit Delhi University today

What next for Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) after its scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday over the latter’s alleged fake degrees?

After levelling allegations against the PM of having fake graduation and post graduation degrees and claiming there were “serious discrepancies” in the mark sheets, the AAP has decided to take the episode head on and keep the heat on till it reaches a conclusion.

Claiming that “there are several discrepancies in Modi’s BA and MA degrees and the mark sheets have been forged,” which were shown to media in a press conference by BJP president Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday, the party has decided to visit Delhi University on Tuesday to inspect the documents itself.

AAP leaders Ashutosh and Dilip Pandey addressing a press conference on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's degrees in New Delhi on Monday. PTI

AAP leaders Ashutosh and Dilip Pandey addressing a press conference on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's degrees in New Delhi on Monday. PTI

According to the plan, a group of AAP leaders will meet Delhi University’s Central Public information Officer (CPIO) at 11 am on Tuesday to inspect and verify the claim made by the BJP leaders regarding PM’s BA degree. The party has also asked Shah and Jaitley to accompany them, and jointly verify the claim.

“We’ll go to Delhi University and meet the CPIO today at 11 am to inspect documents related to PM Narendra Modi’s BA degree. We have also requested Amit Shah and Arun Jaitley to join us,” AAP Delhi secretary, Dilip Pandey told Firstpost.

“It’s not about whether the PM should be a graduate or post graduate — we never raised this issue and it’s neither important that the PM must be a graduate or post graduate. Our contention is that a person in the post of prime minister shouldn’t make false claims related to his educational qualifications by producing fake certificates. He shouldn’t tell lie to the nation. It’s a criminal breach of trust,” he said.

Monday witnessed political firestorm over Modi’s educational qualifications as both BJP and AAP camps held press conferences and blamed one another. While, the BJP strongly defended the PM by showing copies of his degrees and mark sheets, the AAP lashed out by claiming the documents as ‘fake’.

The AAP is not apologetic for levelling strong charges against the PM, even after proofs were shown to public through media. Instead, the party said that it has every right to verify Modi’s claim related to his educational background, especially after the Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked both Delhi University (DU) and Gujarat University to search and provide information to Kejriwal on degrees earned by the PM.

“The CIC has already asked DU and Gujarat University to provide information on PM’s degrees. It has also directed the Prime Minister’s Office to provide specific number and year of the degrees, so that it can be located and verified. That’s why we’re going to DU,” said Pandey.

Does the AAP plan to go to Gujarat University to verify Modi’s post graduation degrees?

“No, not right now. First we want to verify whether the graduation degree (BA), which the PM has claimed to have earned from DU is true or not. If it’s false, there’s no question of verifying post graduation (MA) degree. The matter ends there itself,” added Pandey.

Considering the Assembly polls in Punjab and Goa are scheduled next year, the AAP wants to have a pan-India branding and nothing can be better than taking up issues related to corruption. And, what could be better if PM’s name is involved in it? Any action will hog media limelight.

“AAP’s political principle is broad-based on fighting out corruption from the existing system. Our electoral victory in Delhi is a result of it and people see AAP as a party that won’t compromise on corruption issues. It’s we who expelled a minister and an MLA on charges of having fake degree and corruption. BJP doesn’t have the courage to do it. In Punjab, people have accepted us as they consider AAP a viable alternative to the present government and can root out corruption from the state,” a senior AAP leader said.

“Similarly, in the case of Modi’s degrees, we wanted to know the truth and wrote to CIC. Now, the onus is on Modi to prove that the claim made by him is true. Since, the CIC has asked the DU to provide information on Modi’s BA degree, we have every right to verify it as an appellant. We know well that this fight against the PM is extremely difficult and dangerous, but we’ll take this issue to its logical conclusion. Since Modi is the PM, he can’t be let-off by making false claims,” the leader remarked.

The CIC’s instruction followed after Kejriwal wrote to the commission demanding disclosure of PM’s educational qualifications.

Updated Date: May 10, 2016 12:49 PM

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