Union Minister Smriti Irani is back in the news once again for lying about her education qualifications in sworn affidavits. A local Congress leader in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh has filed a formal complaint with the Election Commission against Irani for submitting wrong information in her affidavits in the past.
In his complaint, Mohd Tauheed Siddiqui Najmi, who is the head of Congress’ minority cell in Lucknow, alleged, “in her affidavit, filed in 2014, had declared she had completed her graduation in commerce from DU. In her affidavit in 2019, she said BCom part one was her highest qualification. How is that since 2004, Irani has shed her degree?”
Najmi, according to Times of India, has also asked the cancellation of Irani’s candidature for lying about her degree in the past adding that a case should also be filed against her for forgery.
Smriti Irani’s election affidavit for 2019 Lok Sabha polls described her ‘three year degree course not completed.’ Under the education qualifications column, Irani said that she had completed the All India Secondary School Examination from Holy Child Auxilium School in Delhi in 1991. She also claimed that she passed her All India School Certificate Examination from the same school in 1993 before adding that her Bachelor of Commerce Part-1 from School of Open Learning, University of Delhi, remained incomplete.
This is in sharp contradiction to what her election affidavit stated in 2004, when she contested from Delhi’s Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency unsuccessfully. Then, she had claimed to have completed her BA from the Delhi University in 1996.
However, Irani had given different information about her bachelors degree in 2014, when she contested against Congress President Rahul Gandhi from Amethi. Her affidavit had read, “Bachelor of Commerce Part-1, School of Open Learning (Correspondence), University of Delhi.” The year described here was 1994 and not 1996 as she had claimed in 2004.
Irani is contesting against Congress President Rahul Gandhi from Amethi in this year’s Lok Sabha polls. The case against her was filed on the day the authorities in Amethi postponed the scrutiny of Gandhi’s nominations papers after receiving complaints from his rivals over alleged anomalies in his educational qualifications.