New Delhi : The Congress on Tuesday taunted the BJP-led government saying the new Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani is not even a graduate, while the BJP retorted that the responsibility had been given on the basis of leadership ability.
“What a Cabinet? Smriti Irani, the HRD Minister who will look after education, is not even a graduate!” Congress leader Ajay Maken said in a tweet, referring to her election affidavit.
Later, Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad called the comment unfortunate. “It is very unfortunate if he (Maken) has said this… Smriti Irani speaks fluently in Hindi and English in Parliament and Mr Modi has kept her qualifications in mind,” Prasad said at a briefing on the first cabinet meeting. Irani, at 38, is the youngest cabinet minister in the present government.
Many on twitter criticized Maken’s comments on Irani as “sexist” and “elitist”. “Someone remind me. Did Rabindranath Tagore go to a university? He certainly established one and had enlightened views on education,” tweeted political commentator Swapan Dasgupta. In her affidavit submitted to the Election Commission, Irani has stated her last education as “Bachelor of Commerce Part-1, School of Open Learning (Correspondence), University of Delhi, 1994.
Irani’s bio-data at the Rajya Sabha website states “Educated at Holy Child Auxilium, Delhi, and School of Correspondence and Continuing Education, University of Delhi.”