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Congress targets PM Modi over degree row, calls govt ‘habitual offender’

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New Delhi: Congress on Saturday took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue of his educational qualification saying his government was a “habitual offender” on the matter.

“If the Prime Minister himself is seeking to hide his educational qualifications, then how could common man have the confidence to use the RTI as a tool to fight corruption,” party’s chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said when asked about the CIC’s direction to universities in Delhi and Gujarat to provide proper responses to RTI applications seeking details of education qualification of the Prime Minister.

Recalling the degree row in which HRD Minister Smriti Irani was involved, he noted that a court case is also on in the matter. He said there is also controversy over the degree of Minister of State of HRD Ram Shankar Katheria.

Insisting that the Congress respected the Prime Minister despite being his opponent, Surjewala, however, said if the Prime Minister “himself hides his degrees, then how could be the Right to Information be defended”. He said that not only should the Prime Minister make public his educational qualifications, but he should also “act against those in the PMO who attempted to malign him by not giving the information”. He alleged that other BJP leaders too have “misled” on their educational qualifications and that they were “habitual offenders”.

Surjewala’s remarks came close on the heels of the Central Information Commission giving direction to the universities of Delhi and Gujarat to provide proper responses to RTI applications seeking details of education qualification of the Prime Minister.

The CIC’s order came a day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote a letter to CIC saying he does not object to government records about him being made public and wondered why the Commission wants to “hide” information on Modi’s educational qualification.

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