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Degree Under Scanner: West Bengal BJP Chief Dilip Ghosh Changed Educational Qualification In Poll Affidavit

The Kharagpur MLA is the BJP candidate from the Medinipur Lok Sabha seat.

The controversy related to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh’s educational qualification has resurfaced. He filed his nomination papers to contest as the Medinipur BJP candidate and declared that he has ‘passed ITI from Jhargram in the year 1982’. In 2016, Ghosh made a different declaration in his poll affidavit.

Ganashakti reported that while filing his affidavit for Assembly elections, Ghosh had declared that he holds a ‘Diploma from Jhargram Polytechnic College’. He is the sitting MLA from Kharagpur Assembly constituency.

The two educational institutions are different. Jhargram Polytechnic or Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Polytechnic is located at Sebayatan, whereas Industrial Training Institute (ITI) is in Ghoradhara.

Earlier in 2017, Indian Express reported that former BJP leader Ashok Sarkar, through an RTI response, had exposed that Ghosh was not a student of Jhargram Polytechnic College.

The RTI reply from the college stated, “As per our office record, Sri Dilip Ghosh, son of Late Bhulanath Ghosh…did not pass the Diploma in Engineering/Technology from this institute, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Polytechnic by name, since 1975 to 1990.”

Born in 1964, Ghosh couldn’t have possibly attended college before 1975, or after 1990, as per rules.

The Implications

As per the Express report, Sarkar had moved Calcutta High Court, alleging Ghosh had fudged his educational qualifications in his affidavit. He even asked the court to disqualify Ghosh as Kharagpur Sadar MLA.

Also Read: Meet Union Minister Smriti Irani: Graduate in 2014, Not a Graduate in 2019

Perhaps to avoid further speculation and controversy, Ghosh has changed his educational background in his affidavit. The wrongful declaration, however, can lead to serious consequences. Ghosh’s position as an MLA can stand cancelled and his Lok Sabha candidature could be struck down.

Per the Representation of the People Act, 1951, as per Chapter III, Section 125 A, the penalty for filing a false affidavit is ‘punishable with imprisonment for… six months, or with fine, or with both’. A Halisahar resident has sent a written complaint to the Election Commission regarding the issue.

Calling the two different declarations baffling CPI(M) leader Mohammed Salim told Ganashakti, “Which fact is true? Through this false declaration, the Representation of the People Act has been violated?”

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Ajoy Dasgupta also commented on the issue.

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