BJP\'s Guwahati pick Queen Oja retracts degree claim, files fresh affidavit

However, at the time of filing nomination papers, my proposed election agent annexed the incorrect affidavit, which was prepared earlier.

Guwahati: In what may cost the ruling BJP dearly, its nominee for the Guwahati Lok Sabha seat, Queen Oja, has filed a fresh affidavit saying that there were some “inadvertent mistakes” pertaining to her educational qualifications in her earlier affidavit that led to a controversy in the state.

In her first affidavit she had stated that she had completed her higher secondary (HS) from the Krishna Kanta Handique State Open University in 2011. But problem started when KKHSOU authorities clarified that the institute never ever offered an HS course. “The university previously offered a course called ‘Bachelor Preparatory Programme’ for the candidates who wanted to enroll for a degree course. However, we suspended the course a few years ago,” said KKHSOU registrar A. Choudhury.

As controversy started spreading on social media, Ms Oja in a letter to the returning officer clarified, “I have found some mistakes made inadvertently in the affidavit for which I have prepared one more affidavit with actual facts. However, at the time of filing nomination papers, my proposed election agent annexed the incorrect affidavit, which was prepared earlier. Therefore, I am submitting the correct affidavit with this forwarding letter for your perusal and to do the needful.”

In her fresh affidavit filed, Ms Oja said she did her matriculation from the Panbazar Girls’ High School in 1968 and then qualified for BPP from KKHSOU in 2012.

Stating that she has all the knowledge required to be a seasoned politician, the BJP candidate said, “I have been working as a politician for over three decades and I am politically educated. There might be candidates who are much more qualified than me but they may not be necessarily very aware politically.”

The fresh affidavit of the BJP candidate has obviously given a chance to Congress candidate Bobbeeta Sharma who while taking a jibe said, “PM Narendra Modi advocates the need of women’s education in the nationwide ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ campaign. Is educational qualification of their own candidates not necessary? It’s an irony.” She indicated that her party may lodge a complain against the BJP candidate for submitting false affidavit on her educational qualification.

Mr Upamanyu Hazarika, Supreme Court lawyer and an Independent candidate for the Guwahati seat, said, “I don’t understand why someone would submit fake information before the returning officer. The EC must act on it.” Ms Oja, a former mayor, has been fielded by BJP in place of party’s sitting MP from the seat Bijoya Chakravarty. which will go to the polls on April 23. The filing of nominations for the third phase of polls ended on Thursday and in the scrutiny, which was held on Friday, BJP candidate’s nomination paper was found valid but Mr Hazarika has challenged the decision of the Returning Officer.

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