Irani rejects allegations of promoting BJP-linked academicians

New Delhi: HRD Minister Smriti Irani today dismissed allegations that academicians with links to BJP and RSS are being selected for various posts, and said she was a victim of “selective outrage”.

She said most of the academicians including the new chairman of Indian Council of Historic Research, Y Sudarshan Rao, were, in fact, promoted during the UPA regime.

“Rao was made a national professor by the then HRD Minister Arjun Singh. Chairman of National Book Trust Baldev Sharma was the editor of a daily. There are several such people appointed by the government who were there during the Congress rule too,” she said, dismissing the allegations.

Irani was speaking at a Mail Today Education Conclave here.

To a question about enquiries constituted against Teesta Setalvad by her Ministry, Irani refused to divulge details and rejected the contention that Setalvad was her opponent, saying her political opponent was Rahul Gandhi.

She said Setalvad was dropped from the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), besides other members nominated during the UPA regime, as it was “right of the present government to pick a new board”.

Irani had unsuccessfully contested against Gandhi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Amethi.

Asked about the controversies surrounding her ministry, Irani said she was a victim of a “selective outrage” because she was challenging the “cozy club”.

“When you ask for answers, then there will be dissenting voices… There are allegations when you challenge the status quo,” she said, refusing to elaborate.