The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday issued a notice to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi over complaints regarding his citizenship. Rahul Gandhi has been given a fortnight by the Home Ministry to explain his "factual position" over a complaint about his citizenship. The notice was issued based on a complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who has claimed that Gandhi has British citizenship.
Swamy, in his complaint, claimed that Gandhi was listed as one of the directors of a company registered in the United Kindgom. He alleged that Gandhi had declared his nationality as "British” in the company’s annual returns filed in 2005 and 2006.
The home ministry notice comes bang in the middle of the seven-phase national election, in which Rahul Gandhi is contesting from the constituencies of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh and Wayanad in Kerala.
Similar objections were raised earlier this month by Dhruv Lal, an independent candidate contesting from the Amethi Lok Sabha seat. However, Returning Officer (RO) of Amethi Ram Manohar Misra declared that the Congress president’s nomination papers were valid. Lal submitted unverified copies alleging that Gandhi’s nomination contained several discrepancies including details about his citizenship and educational qualifications.
"I am directed to say that this ministry has received a representation from Dr Subramanian Swamy, in which it has been brought out 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 were one of the directors and secretary of the said company," says the letter from BC Joshi, Director, Citizenship, in the home ministry.
The letter also says: "It has been further brought out in the complaint that in the company's annual returns filed on October 10, 2005 and 31 October, 2006, your date of birth has been given as June 19, 1970 and that you had declared your nationality as British."
It says the dissolution application of the company, dated February 17, 2009, also referred to Rahul Gandhi's nationality as British.
"You are requested to intimate the factual position in the matter to this ministry within a fortnight of the receipt of the communication," the home ministry says.
Subramanian Swamy, a fierce critic of the Gandhis, raised the allegation first in 2015 and has repeated it several times since.
In 2016, Rahul Gandhi had accused the BJP leader of misleading the nation and had challenged him to substantiate his claims with documentary proof.
Congress leader Sanjay Jha, reacting to the notice, said: "This Is a manifestation of Modi and Amit Shah in panic mode."
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