Sanjay Nirupam on calling PM Modi ‘illiterate’: ‘Words I used aren’t undignified, PM isn’t God in a democracy’

New Delhi September 13  Defending his “unpadh-gawaar” (illiterate) remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam has said that the words he used are not undignified. “It’s a democracy and the PM isn’t God in a democracy, people speak of him while maintaining a decorum. The words I used aren’t undignified,” ANI quoted Nirupam as saying.

The Congress leader Wednesday said, “Jo bachhe school, college mein padh rahe hain woh Modi jaise unpadh-gawaar ke baare mein jaan kar unko kya milne wala hai? Yeh bahut sharmnaak baat hai ki aaj tak humare desh ke nagrik aur bacchhon ko pata hi nahi hai ki PM ki degree kitni hai. (What will the children studying in schools, colleges gain by learning about an illiterate like Modi? It is a shameful thing that the country’s citizens and children still do not know how many degrees the PM has).”

Raising questions on PM Modi’s educational qualification yet again, Nirupam wondered whether the Delhi University was under pressure to not release the PM’s degree. “If children ask about educational qualification of the PM, what will you tell them? People don’t know his qualification. What are the forces which pressurise Delhi University not to release his degree, even when it’s claimed he studied there?” he said.

Nirupam’s controversial remark against PM Modi has come in response to the screening of ‘Chalo jeete hain’, a short film inspired by Modi’s life, in Mumbai schools.

In 2016, after the demonetisation, Nirupam had blamed PM Modi for the deaths of over 70 persons allegedly linked to demonetisation, saying the Prime Minister “should be booked for murder”. “One and only person is responsible for all these deaths — Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I demand he should be held responsible and booked under Section 302 (of IPC) for murder,” he had said.

It wasn’t the first time a Congress leader’s remarks against PM Modi had sparked a controversy. Ahead of last year’s Gujarat Assembly elections, senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar had called Modi a ‘neech kisam ka aadmi’. The remark eventually led to his suspension from the party.