Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today came in strong defence of Union Minister Smriti Irani, a day after the Congress party creating a big uproar on her educational qualification. Jaitley, in support of her, questioned the academic credentials of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, stating that they were too subject of debate.
“One day the focus (of Congress campaign) would be on the BJP candidate’s educational qualification, fully forgetting that a public audit of Rahul Gandhi’s academic credentials may leave a lot to be answered. After all, he got an MPhil without a Master’s degree,” Jaitley said in a Facebook blog titled ‘India’s Opposition is on a Rent a Cause Campaign’.
He said in the entire campaign by the opposition party, there was “no running thread” which connects which is being said today or what has been said over the last several months. In 2009, amid a row over Gandhi’s foreign degrees, the University of Cambridge had said the Congress leader was a student of Trinity College and was awarded an M.Phil in Development Studies in 1995.
The row over Irani’s qualificatioins reignited yesterday after the minister, in her election nomination paper, said that she did not complete her graduation. However, in her affidavit for 2014 polls, Irani had reportedly said that she had graduated from Delhi University’s School of Open Learning with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1994.
“There is no leader, no Gathbandhan, no Common Minimum Programme and no real issue. Not surprisingly there are not many takers for a “failed campaign”. It is ‘Rent a Cause’ Campaign,” he further wrote.
Jaitley said one day the Congress called the Pulwama terror attack a “self-engineered” one and Balakot air strike by the Indian Air Force a “non-existent operation”. The principal opposition even went on to say that the BJP has whipped up a war hysteria but next day took a U-turn and dubbed the BJP as “pro-Pakistan”, he said.
He also maintained that the Congress campaign on Rafale aircraft deal “did not carry much weight”. The false campaign on Rafale didn’t carry much weight,” he said adding, “Loan waiver to industrialists was a lie, the EVM as an instrument of rigging was a bigger lie, he added. Now that they are in the midst of the campaign for over a month, what is the issue which they are able to focus on? he wondered.