MUMBAI: Taking a cue from former Delhi Law Minister Jitendra Singh Tomar’s arrest in a fake degree case, the Maharashtra Congress on Wednesday unsuccessfully tried to corner BJP Minister Babanrao Lonikar over his “doubtful” educational qualification. However, soon it became clear that the Congress’ charge was baseless.
Earlier, Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant produced copies of an election affidavit Lonikar had filed in 2004, 2009 and 2014. It showed that he had mentioned in 2004 and 2009 that he was pursuing first year Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Nashik-based Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU) . However, Lonikar’s 2014 election affidavit stated that he had studied only up to the fifth standard.
“Lonikar faked his educational qualification so an action similar to that of Tomar should be taken against him,” Sawant demanded.
Meanwhile, YCMOU Deputy Registrar Sunil Karve clarified that any literate person can seek admission to the university’s BA course after completing a four-month- long preparatory course.
Lonikar had enrolled for the BA course under the same scheme. He had appeared for the exam in 1999 and 2004 but could not clear it. “So in 2014 I mentioned that I had studied only up to Standard V ,” Lonikar said.