Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday defended the state education minister and BJP leader Vinod Tawde, who is caught up in a row over his educational qualification.
“This is a non-issue. Tawde has never hidden any fact,” Fadnavis said, when asked about the controversy.
After a news-channel reported that Tawde’s BE electronics degree was ‘bogus’, Tawde clarified yesterday that he was a student of Pune’s Dnyaneshwar Vidyapeeth during 1980 to 1984, and the course was not recognised by the government.
“Other than this course, I have studied upto 12th class and I have never hidden that. Even in my poll affidavit, I have mentioned all aspects of my education,” Tawde said. “Had I mentioned that I did a course from Mumbai University, Pune University or Shivaji university, that would have amounted to cheating. But I did not do such a thing.”
But the opposition Congress today demanded his resignation, making it clear that it would capitalise on the issue during the monsoon session.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, said a complaint should be lodged against the minister and he should be asked to step down.
“Tawde should immediately resign from the post and a complaint should be filed against him,” Vikhe Patil said. He also said that Congress would use the issue to stall the monsoon session proceedings beginning next month.
Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam held ‘Tawde Hatao’ (remove Tawde) agitation at Azad Maidan here. “Tawde should resign and he should be arrested, as in the case of Delhi law minister Jitendra Singh Tomar,” Nirupam said.