Explained: Motive behind AAP’s ‘uneducated PM’ jibe

A day after raising eyebrows at the legitimacy of Prime Minister Narenra Modi’s degrees, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejrial on Saturday dared the PM to show his degree.

Despite he was fined for Rs 25,000 by the Gujarat High Court minutes after calling Modi “illiterate…less educated” on Friday, Kejriwal on Saturday said: “Kids were laughing during one of his speeches. Anyone can fool our PM if he is not educated. In the past few years, 60 thousand schools in India were closed. How will an uneducated country progress? If the PM has a legit degree, why not show it? Why are Delhi and Gujarat universities hiding his degrees? I want to ask. Does India need an educated PM?”

Stretching the controversy, Kejriwal took a grim view of the judgment and tweeted on Friday, “Doesn’t the country even have the right to know how educated their PM is? They were opposed to showing his degree in court. Why? Those who demand to see his degree will be fined? What is happening? An illiterate or less educated PM is very dangerous for the country.”

It is said that the Delhi CM wants to remain in the forefront in the 2024 parliamentary elections even as some politicians are mulling a non-Congress front, or say Third Front, before the polls. Thus, Kejriwal kept his rant high against PM. In fact, Kejriwal has sharpened attacks against PM in recent days. He slammed Modi at Jantar Mantar; targeted him in assembly, ran a poster campaign against PM and is questioning his qualifications.

The AAP believes that education plank is going to pay it as the party has delivered in Delhi on this front and is also being lauded by the people in Punjab. Unlike other political parties, AAP does not want to go into weakening of institutions, democracy etc. Its main focus is to be on ‘delivery’.

“Far from being an attack on someone’s literacy and education, our attack is about the PM’s hypocrisy and lies. If he had a degree, why does he not show it? All our Prime Ministers till now have been highly educated and no one had raised a question about their degrees. But here we have a situation where we ask for proof and are fined,” said a senior AAP leader, according to the Indian Express.  A senior AAP member said that the education plank is not going to be its only one. “Lots of issues are discussed in elections and that will be the case this time around also. But yes, this is also going to be one of those issues,” he said.

The purpose is to punch above its weight and draw people’s attention to the BJP’s and PM Modi’s reluctance to talk about or share any proof of his educational qualifications.

The AAP claims to have highly-educated people in the party and believe people will vote the educated candidates. However, the BJP is at ease, basking in the aura of of Modi’s “popularity” and believe it will be a “self-goal” for Kejriwal’s party.

In a country where education is still inaccessible for lakhs of people due to a variety of socio-economic factors, will this line of attack alienate voters? The general consensus in AAP is that it won’t. “A lot of water has flown under the bridge since 2014). The people have now seen the horrors of demonetisation, GST, farmers’ bills, the price rise. He talks about making tea using toxic fumes from drains as fuel. He says the Biharis defeated Alexander when he never even came to Bihar. He has made several nonsensical statements over the years. Today if we say that he talks like an uneducated man, it will be far more convincing,” a senior AAP leader was reported to have said to the Indian Express.

At a press conference on Friday, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh too sharpened the attack on PM. He said, “It is for the first time that an uneducated person has got this post. The entire country wants to see his (Modi’s) degree in entire political science. Why don’t the 140 crore people of this country have the right to know about the Prime Minister’s degree?” he said.


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