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New MoS Sports Minister courts controversy with misleading educational qualification and criminal charges

Soon after Nishith Pramanik was inducted as the MoS in the Ministry of Home Affairs and in the Ministry of Youth Affairs in Sports, controversy started fuelling over his educational qualification.

Nishith Pramanik with Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Nishith Pramanik with Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Source: Aaj Tak)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 14 July 2021 8:33 AM GMT

Nisith Pramanik took charge as the Minister of State (MoS) in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on July 09. After assuming office.

He tweeted about his new role saying, "Today overwhelmed by the enthusiastic and energetic welcome given by the team of Ministry of Youth affairs and sports while assuming the office of MYAS as Minister of state in Shastri Bhavan New Delhi."

He became the youngest minister at 35 years in the Union government when he was sworn in as the MoS in the Ministry of Home Affairs and in the Ministry of Youth Affairs in Sports.

However, soon after his induction, controversy has erupted owing to his educational qualification. The Member of Parliament from Cooch Behar in West Bengal, who recently contested in the state assembly elections had mentioned Class X board examination as his highest educational qualification in the affidavit. He had also produced the same affidavit when he contested at the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

However, Pramanik's profile on the Lok Sabha website says his educational qualification is "Bachelors of Computer Applications (B.C.A.) Educated at Balakura Junior Basic School."

Not only misleading qualifications, Pramanik stated in his affidavit that he had 11 criminal cases against him during the 2019 elections and 13 cases in the 2021 elections, including charges of murder, dacoity, theft, and possession of explosives.

Several Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders from the Cooch Behar district have pointed out the discrepancies. They raised the question of why Pramanik has been given a piece of the Ministry when he has so many criminal charges against him.

Pramanik, who is a resident of Dinhata in West Bengal's Cooch Behar district was earlier a member of TMC. He had a fallout with the TMC leadership and went on to join the BJP in 2019 ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He was offered a ticket from the Cooch Behar constituency and emerged victorious.

His relationship with the TMC leadership started to become unfriendly in 2018 as he was unhappy with the candidate selection in the panchayat elections. However, the TMC leadership got to know of Pramanik's organisational clout in the district when he fielded over 300 candidates in the panchayat elections of his own choice against the TMC candidates. Several of the candidates fielded by him emerged victorious leaving the TMC red-faced.

In a surprising move by the BJP, Pramanik was also fielded from the Dinahata Assembly constituency in the West Bengal Assembly elections. Although he managed to defeat TMC's Udyan Guha, the margin was just 57 votes. He later resigned as an MLA and was kept as an MP by the BJP leadership.

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