A senior NCP leader and Maharashtra’s leader of opposition, Ajit Pawar, recently backed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, citing the Prime Minister’s charisma rather than his academic qualifications as the reason for his massive win in the elections. He also criticised those who have been questioning the validity of Modi’s academic degrees. Mr. Pawar pointed out that politics is not a field where one must have a certain educational background to operate, and since PM Modi has been leading the nation for almost nine years, these questions are absolutely pointless. He further added that these questions are a mere distraction from more pressing matters such as inflation and unemployment.
Ajit Pawar’s statement was directly in contrast to his ally, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray), leader Uddhav Thackeray’s remarks, who demanded that Modi must reveal his educational credentials. SP Sanjay Raut even questioned the reason why the Prime Minister is supposedly hiding his degree certificates, pointing out the irony of Modi selling tea at a railway platform yet somehow attaining a master’s degree in Political Science.
Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also tried to obtain details of PM Modi’s degree through the RTI route, but the Gujarat High Court fined him with a penalty of Rs. 25,000 for his actions, while casting aspersions on his motive for seeking information in the public domain.
The Shiv Sena (UBT) is a major opposition party in Maharashtra and was until recently in alliance with Ajit Pawar’s NCP. The Shiv Sena party claims to be champions of the ‘sons of the soil’ and seeks to protect the rights and interests of the local Maharashtrian population in the state. Led by Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray, the party’s ideology leans towards Hindutva. The party has had some success in Maharashtra’s politics, having held the Chief Ministerial post for 9 times thus far. Along with NCP, Shiv Sena has presently formed a government in Maharashtra, with Uddhav Thackeray as the Chief Minister.