`Don`t question Smriti Irani, Sonia Gandhi is not even 10th pass`

The controversy over the allocation of the Human Resource Development Ministry to Smriti Irani does not seem to be dying down.

Last Updated: May 28, 2014, 14:48 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: The controversy over the allocation of the Human Resource Development Ministry to Smriti Irani does not seem to be dying down.

Although Irani herself has refused to make a statement on the issue, the BJP has come out in full support of the new HRD minister.

Congress leader Meem Afzal today hit out at Irani, saying people will raise question when someone, for whom education was not a priority, is being made education minister.

Hitting back at the Congress, new Textiles Minister Santosh Gangwar said: “I would like to ask what is Sonia Gandhi`s educational qualification.”
BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi slammed Congress for raking up Smriti`s educational qualifications, saying Congress leaders should leave their arrogance behind and introspect.

BJP`s Uma Bharti also responded, saying: "I want to ask Sonia Gandhi what is her qualification because she was heading the UPA Government, she was giving directions to the Government. I want to see her certificate how much she is qualified. Then Congress people have the right to ask the qualifications of Smriti Irani."

Meanwhile, journalist-activist Madhu Kishwar on Wednesday responded to Ajay Maken`s taunt that Smriti Irani is not even a graduate, saying the Congress leader has no moral right to question the new Human Resource Development Minister`s qualifications.

You have no moral right to question Irani`s qualifications as Congress president Sonia Gandhi isn`t even Class 10th pass, a news channel quoted Kishwar as telling Maken.

"What a cabinet of Modi? HRD Minister (looking after education) Smriti Irani is not even a graduate!" Congress leader Ajay Maken had said on Tuesday in a tweet, referring to her election affidavit.

Notably, Kishwar herself is against the appointment of Irani as the HRD minister.

She also had on Tuesday questioned the education qualification details furnished by Irani in her affidavit.

Maken`s remarks were not only disapproved by BJP but also by one of his party colleagues.

Manish Tewari advised party leaders to refrain from making such personal attacks. "When we criticise government, it should be on substance not superficiality," Tewari said.

The BJP had on Tuesday retorted that the responsibility was given on the basis of leadership ability.

Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had called the comment unfortunate.

"It is very unfortunate if he (Maken) has said this... the way she (Irani) speaks in Parliament, both in English and Hindi, and her leadership ability, are in front of the entire country. It is because of these qualities that the prime minister has given her this responsibility," said the Bharatiya Janata Party leader.

Inducted in the union Cabinet on Monday, Irani, at 38, is the youngest Cabinet minister in the present government.