A reply to an RTI inquiry has contradicted BJP MLA and party Bengal unit chief Dilip Ghosh’s claim that he passed diploma from Jhargram polytechnic college, landing him in yet another controversy.
Ghosh, 53, in his affidavit submitted before the Election Commission ahead of the 2016 Assembly election declared he passed a diploma from Jhargram polytechnic college, even though he had given no other detail as sought by the EC is the designated column.
A former RSS pracharak and a hardliner, Ghosh has triggered quite a few controversies in the past including digs at Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.
On Friday, expelled BJP leader Ashok Sarkar, who had filed an RTI query in January this year, presented the reply from Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Polytechnic that stated Ghosh did not pass the diploma from the college between 1975 and 1990.
“As per our office record, Sri Dilip Ghosh, son of late Bhulanath Ghosh, Vill. Kuliana, P.O: Malancha, P.S: Beliabera, Dist: Paschim Medinipur did not pass the Diploma in Engineering/ Technology from this institute, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar Polytechnic by name, since 1975 to 1990,” the reply singed by the principal of the college reads.
There is no other polytechnic college in Jhargram.
Ghosh was born in 1964. According to his affidavit, he would have been too young to join the course before 1975 and too old to pass by 1990. He would have been 26 by 1990, whereas the highest age limit for enrolling in the 2/3 year course in 21.
“I did not specify the time limit between 1975 and 1990 to conduct the search. They specified the period, probably after calculating that he could not have passed the diploma after 1990,” Sarkar told HT, while demanding that Ghosh resigns.
Talking to HT, Ghosh said Sarkar was free to move court. “The court has its doors open for him. Let him move there,” Ghosh curtly answered. He did not comment on the RTI response at all.
Sarkar, however, said that he is preparing to take legal action. “I will first approach the EC and the Speaker of the state Assembly. If none of them act, I will move court,” said Sarkar, who contested on a BJP ticket in the 2016 Assembly elections, but later fell out with Ghosh.
Sujan Chakraborty, the leader of the CPI(M) legislative party, too, demanded that Ghosh resigns. “I learnt about it from the media only. I wish he felt ashamed and resigned. However, that is probably not going to be. Our prime minister and former union education minister, and Bengal’s present chief minister have all been accused on similar lines but none ever resigned. We do not expect the Bengal government to act on this serious charge of providing wrong information in affidavit. Our party, however, will raise the issue in the Assembly,” he said.
State parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee could not be contacted, while Leader of the Opposition, Congress’ Abdul Mannan, said he would respond after verifying the authenticity of the RTI reply.