BJP’s President and the new Rajya Sabha member, Amit Shah’s assets grew by 300 per cent between 2012 – when he last filed an Election Commission affidavit as part of his nomination paper for the Gujarat assembly election – and 2017. In addition, the Textiles and Information and Broadcasting Minister, Smriti Irani, clarified in her EC affidavit that she had not completed her Bachelor of Commerce course. Both news items are significant. While the phenomenal rise of Shah’s wealth was surprising, Irani’s declaration was no less. In her 2014 declaration to fight the Lok Sabha election, when she stood against Congress’ Rahu Gandhi in Amethi, Irani claimed that she was a graduate. Under the column, educational qualification, she wrote ‘BCom, Part 1, School of Correspondence, Delhi University, 1994’. She gave the same information in her affidavit for election to the Rajya Sabha in 2011. Curiously, in her affidavit for the 2004 Lok Sabha election, when she stood from Chandni Chowk, Delhi, she said that she was ‘BA, 1996, Delhi University, School of Correspondence’. She seems to have corrected the mistake now, and has gracefully accepted that she is just 12th pass. Both the news items were however, treated in a completely different way. The news about Shah was uploaded by several media organisations like the Times of India, Economic Times, Navbharat Times and DNA on their websites, only to be removed later. This despite the fact that the information was authentic with the details available on the Election Commission website. This seems to be a new trend in the media; even the factual pieces are killed. The respected media organisations didn’t disclose the reasons behind their decisions.
VOL. 11 | ISSUE 5 | AUGUST 2017