Smriti Irani a 'serial liar': Cong
Says Union Minister ‘falsified records’ of her educational qualifications
New Delhi: Dubbing Union minister Smriti Irani a "serial liar", the Congress on Friday alleged that she has "falsified records" of her educational qualifications and submitted contradictory affidavits to the Election Commission for which she should be disqualified.
In a stinging attack on Irani, Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi, at a press conference, also sang the title track of the popular soap opera 'Kyuki saas bhi Kabhi bahu thi' by changing the lyrics to "qualification ke roop badalte hain...(qualification keeps changing)".
The sharp attack came a day after the BJP candidate from Amethi Lok Sabha seat submitted to the Election Commission that she did not complete her graduation from Delhi University. "Union Minister Smriti Irani, who had been rubbishing Opposition's claim that she is not a graduate, yesterday accepted that she enrolled for an undergraduate course in Delhi University but did not complete it," Chaturvedi said.
She should step down and also be disqualified from contesting the polls for misleading the public through her affidavits on educational qualification, Chaturvedi said.
"We have no issue with the fact that Smriti Irani is not a graduate. The issue here is that she has lied repeatedly on oath and to the courts. People of India will see through these lies and give a befitting political reply to a 'serial liar'!" she said.
It is clear that she has not only "falsified records" but has submitted contradictory affidavits to the EC for which she is guilty of offence under Section 125A read with Section 33 of the Representation of Peoples Act, Chaturvedi said.
There was no immediate reaction from the BJP over the issue. "She is also guilty of hiding information in the Delhi University and misusing her influence and power as a Union Minister. Constitutionally, legally and morally, it would be best if she steps down as the Union minister and by publicly accepting these lies," Chaturvedi said.
She also listed the various affidavits submitted by the BJP leader since 2004 to highlight the "contradiction and falsification of educational qualifications". In 2004, Irani submitted an affidavit to ECI as Lok Sabha candidate from Chandni Chowk, Delhi, stating that her educational qualification as Bachelor of Arts in 1996 from Delhi University, School of Correspondence, Chaturvedi said. Irani in 2011 submitted an affidavit to ECI as Rajya Sabha candidate from Gujarat stating her educational qualification as B.Com. Part-I in 1994 from Delhi University, School of Correspondence, she said. Then in 2014, Irani submitted an affidavit to ECI as Lok Sabha candidate from Amethi, UP, stating that her educational qualification as B.Com. Part-I in 1994 from School of Open Learning, Delhi University.
Chaturvedi said Irani was also quoted at a media event in August 2014 that she has a degree from the prestigious Yale University in the US.
In her affidavit filed on Thursday during her nomination, Irani, who is contesting against Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, said she passed secondary school examination in 1991 and senior secondary school examination in 1993.
She has said she did not complete her Bachelor of Commerce (Part-I) - a three-year degree course - from Delhi University's School of Open Learning in 1994. The party also issued a statement that began with the mock lyrics "qualification ke roop badalte hain...kyunki mantri bhi kabhi graduate thi".
Irani, an actor-turned-politician, had essayed the lead role in 'Kyuki saas bhi Kabhi bahu thi' (Because a mother-in-law was once a daughter-in-law too).