Is Rahul a British citizen? Ministry sends notice to Congress chief over Swamy's complaint

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 30 April 2019, 11:46 AM
Is Rahul Gandhi a British citizen? Home Ministry sends notice to Congress chief over Subramanian Swamy's complaint
Is Rahul Gandhi a British citizen? Home Ministry sends notice to Congress chief over Subramanian Swamy's complaint

The Union Home Ministry on Tuesday sent a notice to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi over a complaint raised by BJP lawmaker Subramanian Swamy questioning Gandhi’s citizenship status. News Nation has the copy of the notice. The home ministry has asked the Congress chief to intimate factual position of his citizenship within a fortnight. The notice dated April 29, 2019 stated that Swamy had told the ministry that a company named “Backops Limited was registered in the United Kingdom in the year 2003, with address 51 Southgate Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 9EH and that you (Rahul Gandhi) were one of the Directors and Secretary of the said Company.”

The notice also added that Swamy in his complaint had also claimed the two annual returns filed by the company had stated Gandhi’s date of birth as 19/6/1970 and these returns also stated Gandhi as ‘British Citizen.’ 

Gandhi’s citizenship has been raked by his political opposnent in this election season. On April 22, the District Magistrate Court found Gandhi’s Amethi nomination valid and rejected all ‘Raul Vinci’ objections raised by other Independent candidates. Gandhi’s lawyer KC Kaushik was present in the court to argue on his client’s behalf. On the objections raised over Gandhi’s nationality, Kaushik said that Gandhi was born in India and he holds an Indian passport, he never took citizenship of any other country. His passport, Voter-ID, and his income tax, everything is of India. “I don't know who Raul Vinci is or where he came from. Rahul Gandhi had done his M Phil in 1995 from University of Cambridge, I have attached a copy of the certificate,” he had added.

On April 20, an independent candidate Saturday raised objections over the Congress president's nomination from Amethi, alleging discrepancies over citizenship and educational qualifications in his election affidavit. Citing the complaint, the BJP said in New Delhi asked Gandhi to come clean on the matter. Complainant Dhruv Lal's lawyer Ravi Prakash showed reporters purported copies of a certificate of incorporation of a UK-registered company in which the Congress leader is stated to be a British national.

Amethi's returning officer Ram Manohar Misra told reporters that Rahul Gandhi's counsel had sought time to reply to the objections and has been asked to do so by Monday. Ravi Prakash claimed that the UK Company had existed for five years and would have made some profit, but that has not been disclosed in the affidavit. He told reporters that he has urged the returning officer to look into this aspect.

The independent candidate's counsel said he has sought a clarification on Gandhi's citizenship as being a UK citizen would bar him from fighting the Lok Sabha elections.

In Delhi, BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao had said it is "stunning" that Gandhi's lawyer sought time to reply to the objections.

"These are serious allegations. Is Rahul Gandhi an Indian citizen or not? Did he ever become a British citizen? He should come out with the real story," he told reporters. Election Commission sources said the returning officer is the final authority on such a matter, but he cannot check the veracity of what is submitted in an election affidavit.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 10:26 AM
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