Tuesday January 13, 8:20 PM
Congress blames Sonia's diploma gaffe on 'typo'
By Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) The Congress Tuesday admitted that the educational qualification of party president Sonia Gandhi in her bio-data given to parliament was wrong but blamed it on a "typographical mistake".
There was a typographical mistake in the bio-data given to the Lok Sabha with regard to the Italy-born Gandhi's educational qualifications, party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said in response to questions by reporters.
"When they came to know about it they immediately rectified it," he said and added Gandhi's aide Pulok Chatterjee had written to the Lok Sabha secretariat clarifying the matter.
However, the parliament website continues to show Gandhi's educational background as "Diploma in English Language Educated at Cambridge (UK)".
Defence Minister George Fernandes, who is also the convenor of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), had Monday called Sonia a "liar", saying Cambridge University did not have a diploma course in English.
Singhvi accused Fernandes of using "cheap language" and charged that even Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was resorting to such language for electoral gains.
He also "strongly condemned" the government's reported move to bring in retired cabinet secretary T.R. Prasad, now a member of the Finance Commission, as the chief election commissioner and said it was improper to bring in an outsider for the post.
The present incumbent J.M. Lyngdoh retires from service in February.
SONIA OBTAINED NO QUALIFICATION IN CAMBRIDGE WHERE SHE WENT TO SERVE AS A MAID IN AN ENGLISH HOME (AU PAIR).