Modi Degree Controversy

Narendra Modi once again finds himself in the thick of controversies. But this time, they have become too personal. The latest controversy involves Modi’s academic degrees. BJP’s attempts to show the PM’s degrees as genuine have been met with scepticism with the opposition calling them “fake” and accusing the PM of lying about his education.

BJP displays PM’s certificates

A press conference was held on Monday where Finance Minister Arun Jaitely and BJP president Amit Shah released Narendra Modi’s undergraduate and post-graduate degrees.

As per the records shown at the press conference, Narendra Modi completed his BA from Delhi University with a third division in 1978. The other degree showed him completing his MA in “entire Political Science” with a first division in 1983.

BJP attacks AAP

Demonstrating that the degrees were a proof of Modi’s education, Arun Jaitely launched a tirade against the AAP saying that it had stooped low to cast unnecessary apprehensions on the Prime Minister. Arun Jaitely severely criticized AAP’s actions saying that “It is public discourse at its lowest ever”.

Waving copies of Modi’s degrees to the audience, Amit Shah demanded an apology from Kejriwal on the grounds that he had tried to defame the PM by spreading lies.

AAP not convinced

Despite the BJP’s press conference where it displayed the degrees, AAP continues to hold on to its belief that the degrees are fake.

The AAP believes that there is something amiss which points to the fact that the degrees have been forged. The AAP bases its thesis on the fact that the details in Modi’s mark sheet and the degree did not match.

The first discrepancy as pointed out by AAP leader Ashutosh is that the name of the awardee is spelled as Narendra Kumar Damodar Das Mody in the mark sheet, while the degree names him as Narendra Damoderdas Modi. AAP has urged the BJP to provide the affidavit because names can be changed only with an affidavit.

Another glaring inconsistency pointed out by Ashutosh in the mark sheet and degree is the year in which the PM passed out. The degree says that the PM passed out in 1978, while the final year mark sheet was awarded in 1977. Ashutosh is asking a simple question: how is it possible that a person passed out in two different years?

 BJP responds to AAP’s allegations

The BJP, in its defence, released two mark sheets of Modi. According to the first mark sheet, Modi took admission in the DU correspondence programme in 1974. However, he failed to clear the final year examination in 1977. The second mark sheet showed that Modi again sat for the examination in 1978 and was this time able to clear it with a third division.

Back in 2013, Roshan Shah, an Ahmedabad-based RTI activist, became the first person to file an RTI demanding the details of Modi’s degrees. He now claims that the mark sheet provided by the university is totally fabricated. Shah has rubbished the claims of Gujarat University V-C that Modi did his post-graduation in ‘entire political science’ on the grounds that post-graduation is done in only one subject with specialization.

A non-issue for Nitish Kumar

The chief minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, gave a rather unenthusiastic response to the whole incident. He said that Modi’s fake degrees issue was a non-issue for him.

The fake degree issue has snowballed and it has now become imperative for the PM to douse the fire before it gets out of control.