Education Minister Smriti Irani ‘Not Even Graduate!’: Ajay Maken’s Tweet Sparks Row


New Delhi: Congress leader Ajay Maken has touched off a political storm with a series of tweets deriding the new Narendra Modi cabinet. In one of them, he questioned the educational qualifications of Smriti Irani, who has taken over as Human Resource Development Minister.

“What a Cabinet of Modi? HRD Minister (Looking after Education) Smriti Irani is not even a graduate! Look at her affidavit at ECI site pg 11 (sic)!” Mr Maken tweeted, immediately inviting sharp reactions.

The ruling BJP condemned the statement. “It is very unfortunate if such things are said about her. Smriti Irani speaks in Hindi and English in Parliament and Mr Modi has kept her qualifications in mind,” said Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at a briefing on Mr Modi’s first cabinet meeting.

Many on twitter criticized Mr Maken’s comments on Smriti Irani as “sexist” and “elitist”. “Someone remind me. Did Rabindranath Tagore go to university? he certainly established one & had enlightened views on education,” tweeted political commentator Swapan Dasgupta.

The BJP stormed to power with a massive mandate, seizing 282 seats in the 543-member Parliament and reducing the Congress to a historic low of 44 seats nationwide.

Mr Maken, who headed the Congress’ communications department, was one of the seven Congress MPs who lost their seats in Delhi….

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