Newly inducted minister of state for HRD, Ram Shankar Katheria again found himself amid controversy over allegation that his graduation and post-graduation marksheets are forged.
Tajendra Rajora, a Congressman and convenor of Bapu Smarak Sangarsh Samiti, had recently raised objection to Katheria’s induction into the Union cabinet, claiming that two dozen criminal cases were pending against him. Rajora alleged that the MP from Agra had forged his marksheets. The Congress leader also demanded Katheria’s resignation on moral grounds and sought an independent inquiry into the issue.
On Friday, the minister, however, refuted the charges saying they were “politically motivated” and claimed that he would resign both as minister and as MP, if the allegations were proved to be correct.
Katheria had won the Lok Sabha elections for the first time in 2009. He defeated BSP candidate Kunwar Chand Vakil, who later filed an FIR at a local police station alleging that Katheria’s marksheet for graduation and post-graduation were forged. The matter reached the Allahabad high court in 2010, but was referred back to Agra’s sessions court. The court of additional district judge (first) will now hear the matter on November 25.
“The required investigation had been done by the then circle officer Aseem Chaudhary and my marksheet and caste certificate were found in order. But the matter is still pending in court in Agra,” stated Katheria who questioned why the FIR was lodged by BSP candidate and not by the education minister, vice-chancellor or the district magistrate.
Katheria won the election again in 2014 and was recently inducted as MoS for HRD in the Modi cabinet. After this, the marksheet controversy cropped up again.
Regarding the 2010 case related to his marksheet from Kanpur University, Katheria alleged that the complainant (the BSP candidate) had lodged the case using his clout in the then Mayawati government in UP - that too after 10 years of his appointment as reader at Agra university.
“All the cases filed against me were over the protests I lodged in the interest of the masses and none of them were of serious nature. Further, no case has been filed against me during the last two and half years (after the end of the BSP rule in state),” stated Katheria, who asserted that if proved guilty, he would quit both as MP and minister.