Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP begins ‘show your degree’ campaign
NEW DELHI : The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has launched a “show your degree” campaign and challenged BJP leaders to do the same.The latest high court judgement heightened the debate surrounding the AAP’s aggressive campaign emphasising details on PM Modi’s degrees. The party has put up posters in numerous cities criticising Prime Minister Modi.
The AAP party led by Arvind Kejriwal began the campaign a week after the Gujarat High Court fined Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal Rs 25,000 for requesting details of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s degrees when the information was already available. “We’re launching a campaign today. Every day, your leaders will demonstrate their degree to you. I have a BA from Delhi University as well as two Master’s degrees from Oxford. They’re all original,” Delhi Education Minister Atishi media in Delhi on Sunday.
“We are starting a campaign today. Your leaders will show their degree everyday to you. I have a BA degree from Delhi University and two Master’s degree from Oxford. All of them are original,” Atishi told reporters in Delhi today. “I want to ask all leaders to show their degrees, especially BJP leaders,” she said, adding AAP leaders will show their degree as part of the campaign.The recent high court order added to the controversy over the AAP’s aggressive campaign highlighting PM Narendra Modi’s education. The party had put up posters in many cities targeting PM Modi.
In 2016, responding to Mr Kejriwal’s Right to Information (RTI) request for details on PM Modi’s education details, the then Central Information Commission M Sridhar Acharyulu told the Prime Minister’s Office, Gujarat University and Delhi University to give details about PM Modi’s graduation and post graduation degrees.
The Gujarat University put up PM Modi’s degree on its website immediately, but at the same time, challenged the Information Commission’s order as a matter of principle. The ruling BJP shared copies of what it said were PM Modi’s degrees – a BA from Delhi University and MA in Total Political Science from Gujarat University. Mr Kejriwal had claimed there were “glaring discrepancies” in the documents.
In the Gujarat High Court, the government’s lawyer Tushar Mehta said the two universities should not be compelled to disclose the information. “In a democracy, there won’t be a difference if a person holding the office is a doctorate or an illiterate. Also, there is no public interest involved in this issue. Even his privacy is affected,” the top government lawyer said, insisting that the information on PM Modi’s degrees had no bearing on his role.
Mr Kejriwal’s lawyer countered that election nomination forms listed educational qualifications and it was a legitimate thing to ask. “We are asking for a degree certificate, not his mark sheet,” said Percy Kavina, the AAP’s lawyer, in the Gujarat High Court.
In response to Kejriwal’s Right to Information (RTI) request in 2016, the then-Central Information Commission M Sridhar Acharyulu directed the Prime Minister’s Office, Gujarat University, and Delhi University to provide information on PM Modi’s graduation and postgraduate degrees.
The ruling BJP distributed copies of PM Modi’s degrees, which it said were a BA from Delhi University and an MA in Political Science from Gujarat University. Kejriwal claimed the materials included ‘glaring discrepancies.’
Meanwhile,After Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over “education” and degrees, Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena has taken a swipe at Mr Kejriwal, saying, “Some are illiterate despite having an IIT degree.” The Delhi Chief Minister is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
(Bureau Report with Agency Inputs).