Breaking her silence on her educational qualification row, HRD Minister Smriti Irani, Thursday, sent out an appeal that she be solely judged by her work.
“Extraneous circumstances have been created to ensure that my attention is deviated from the body of work I have been entrusted with. I have been judged by my organisation on the capacity to deliver on assignments,” she said while talking to reporters here.
“Humbly request all to do that. Judge me by my work, I would only say this,” Smriti added.
However, she chose not to respond to questions on the discrepancies in her poll affidavits.
The new HRD Minister is at the centre of a massive row triggered by Congress leader Ajay Maken after he questioned her ability to deliver as she is not even a graduate.
“What a Cabinet of Mr. Modi? HRD Minister (looking after education) Smriti Irani is not even a graduate! Look at her affidavit at ECI site pg 11,” he had tweeted on Tuesday.
Later, the Congress also came to the fore pointing out discrepancies in the poll affidavits filed by her in 2004 Lok Sabha polls and the one filed by her in 2011 Rajya Sabha elections and in her 2014 affidavit, when she contested against Rahul Gandhi from Amethi.
While the 2004 affidavit said she had completed a Bachelor of Arts from Delhi university’s school of correspondence in 1996, the 2011 submission mentioned her “highest qualification” as B Com Part I, again from DU’s school of correspondence, in 1994.
The claim of B Com Part I was also made in her 2014 declaration.
The BJP has strongly defended Smriti Irani and said Congress leaders should leave their “arrogance” behind after the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha polls and introspect.
“We want to advise Congress leaders that after country’s people rejected them in Lok Sabha elections, they should now leave their arrogance behind and introspect,” BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
He said the party was defeated in elections due to the “arrogance” of Congress leaders but they are still not ready to leave that behind.
“Congress leaders should now stop using abusive words against BJP leaders. Congress should respect the mandate of the people,” he said.
Smriti’s cabinet colleagues Uma Bharti and Santosh Gangwar fired a counter shot at the Congress by demanding to know how educated was its president Sonia Gandhi.