While the Congress was busy grilling Smriti Irani over her constantly changing degree and educational qualification, Arun Jaitley took a jibe at Rahul Gandhi in one of his blog posts and wrote, “One day the focus would be on the BJP candidate’s educational qualification, fully forgetting that a public audit of Rahul Gandhi’s academic credentials may leave a lot to be answered. After all, he got an M.Phil without a Masters degree!”
In reality, how much does the public audit of Rahul Gandhi’s academic credentials leave to be answered? Anybody who would do a simple fact check would learn that Oxford and Cambridge don’t mandate having a masters degree to acquire an M.Phil.
A few hours after Arun Jaitley posted his write up on Facebook, the twitter handle of Congress responded to him:
Subramanian Swamy joined this thread by tweeting Rahul Gandhi’s Cambridge certificate:
Buddhu’s Cambridge Certificate says his name is Raul Vinci and he read MPhil and failed in National Economic Planning & Policy pic.twitter.com/22kBHSRbcR
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) April 12, 2019
According to the certificate posted by Swamy, Rahul Gandhi pursued MPhil in Development Studies in 2004-05. However, as per the nomination paper filed by Gandhi during the 2014 elections, he undertook the course in 1995, not in 2004, as alleged, as reported by Lallantop.
Additionally, as per the ‘Red Book’ which contains names of the all people associated with the Cambridge University has enlisted Rahul Gandhi’s name as “VINCI, Rahul T MPHIL95”, where T refers to Trinity College.
Reportedly, post-Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in 1991, in view of various security issues, Rahul Gandhi’s surname was changed. Cambridge University Vice-Chancellor Professor Alison Richard in 2014, confirmed that Gandhi was indeed awarded MPhil degree in 1995. In addition to this, Dr Anil Seal, a fellow at Trinity College, University of Cambridge had said, “Yes, I had a hand in getting Rahul when he came incognito to Trinity under the name of Da Vinci some years back, but I didn’t actually teach development studies.”
What if candidate is found lying about education qualification?
However, any candidate who files a false affidavit with the intention of being elected in an election shall be guilty of an offence under Section 125 A in The Representation of the People Act, 1951 (Read with Section 33 A).
Rahul Gandhi is not the first one to be asked to prove his educational qualification, PM Narendra Modi in 2016 was pressurised to furnish his degree certificate by the AAP, which the BJP later publicly did. Former President of Indian National Congress, Sonia Gandhi was accused by Subramanian Swamy of having filed a false affidavit to the EC, but the SC rejected his plea. Ex-minister from the AAP, Jitendra Singh Tomar was at the receiving end for forging his degree. Smriti Irani is currently facing heat for continually changing her educational qualification.