AAP dares govt to arrest Maha minister on fake degree charge

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Mumbai, Jun 11: Accusing BJP of indulging in "double standards", the AAP on Thursday dared the party-led Maharashtra government to arrest state Minister Babanrao Lonikar accused of holding a fake degree and make him tour institutions from where he allegedly secured his educational certificates, as has been done in the case of Jitendra Tomar in Delhi.

"I dare the state government to follow the same procedure as our minister (Jitendra Tomar) was put through. Will this (Devendra Fadnavis) government arrest him (Lonikar) and make him tour the colleges and universities from where he has received his degrees?" asked AAP's spokesperson Preeti Sharma Menon.

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"Lonikar's fake degree is a proof of the double standards of BJP and (Narendra) Modi government which is indulging in political vendetta," she alleged.

Taking potshots at the government, AAP state executive member Ravi Shrivastava sought to know, "When our minister in Delhi Jitendra Singh Tomar can be arrested despite the fact that court is already hearing the case, then why the same treatment cannot be meted out to Lonikar?"

"There cannot be two parameters while dealing with same nature of cases. This exposes the real face of the BJP," he charged.

Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant had yesterday alleged that there had been discrepancies in the affidavits filed by Lonikar while filing nomination for assembly polls in 2004 and 2009.

"Lonikar in his affidavits of 2004 and 2009 mentioned his qualification as FYBA (First Year BA) from Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU) in 1991.

"However, in 2014 election affidavit, he mentioned he has completed his education till Standard 5 from Zilla Parishad School at Loni (Khurd) in Partur Tehsil of Parbhani district in 1973," he had said.

Sawant also displayed another document which purportedly showed Lonikar's education qualification as 'BA' and wanted Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to initiate action against his cabinet colleague.

Lonikar, a BJP legislator from Parthur Mantha, however, had said he tried to complete his education "but due to busy political schedule could not pass the examination".

PTI

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