New Delhi: Top BJP leaders on Monday sought to put to rest the escalating row over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's educational qualifications by going public with his degrees and demanded an apology from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, accusing him of spreading 'lies' on the issue.
BJP President Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley showing to media the degrees of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a press conference at BJP headquarters in New Delhi. Pic/PTI
BJP President Amit Shah along with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressed a press conference during which they launched a blistering attack on Kejriwal, alleging that the AAP Chief was lowering the public discourse by spreading 'lies' on the issue of Modi's degrees and substituting governance with "politics of adventurism".
Releasing Modi's graduation degree taken from Delhi University and masters' degree from Gujarat University, both Shah and Jaitley alleged that Kejriwal has tried to turn a 'lie' into truth by running a campaign to mislead the people of the country.
Jaitley even said the kind of allegations that have been levelled against Modi threatens "federal polity" in the country when a Union Territory indulges in irresponsible behavior to attack the Prime Minister. They challenged the Delhi Chief Minister to verify his claims. "Arvind Kejriwal has been spreading lies about the Prime Minister's credentials. He has committed the sin of defaming the country. It is very unfortunate that we have to hold a press conference about the Prime Minister's educational qualification.
"When you do not have any proof, how can you spread allegations. He should apologise to the entire nation," said Shah, adding he will also write a letter to Kejriwal to satisfy his queries.
When asked about the authenticity of Modi's BA degree, Shah told a reporter to check it with the Delhi University. Jaitley said it was ironical that such a charge has come from a political party several of whose MLAs are being prosecuted for having fake degrees. "The politics of adventurism is being treated as a substitute for governance," he said.
Kejriwal has been alleging that the Prime Minister's BA degree is fake and that it was obtained by a namesake of him from Alwar.
Last week, the Delhi Chief Minister said that he can assert with 'full responsibility' that Delhi University's records have no mention of 'Narendra Damodardas Modi' and that one 'Narendra Kumar Mahavir Prasad Modi' from Alwar had taken admission in 1975.
The Delhi Chief Minister, who has been demanding that Modi's degrees be placed in public domain, said the issue was not whether the PM was '10th pass or 12th pass' but that he has furnished 'fake' certificates and "cheated" the people of the country.
Jaitley said there cannot be a bigger example of an "Aam Aadmi" than Modi as despite being in public life, he would travel from Gujarat to Delhi in the 70s to take BA examination as an external student. "I knew this because I was a student union leader in Delhi University then as he would stay in ABVP office in 33, Bungalow road here," he added.
Taking a jibe at AAP, he said it should have rather praised Modi for his educational achievements as a common man for whom it is supposed to speak.
"Without checking up any fact, AAP levelled such allegations. It is public discourse at its lowest level," he said.
Asked whether a case of defamation would be filed against Kejriwal, Shah ruled it out. He also attacked Congress' Manish Tewari and JD (U) leader K C Tyagi for supporting Kejriwal on the issue. "Congress should first clear the air on the AgustaWestland issue," he said.
Asked to comment on the CIC order over the issue, Shah refused to react saying it was a legal issue whether the order was wrong or right.