‘What nonsense’: Priyanka Gandhi on MHA notice to Rahul Gandhi on citizenship row

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New Delhi | Updated: April 30, 2019 4:36:16 PM

Congress has termed it as a sign of the BJP's desperation and questioned such a notice when the Congress chief has been contesting elections since 2004.

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Congress general secrertary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday responded to questions on the Home ministry issuing a notice to her brother and Congress president Rahul Gandhi seeking a factual position on his citizenship following a complaint by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy and termed the issue as ridiculous.

Responding to the MHA notice to Rahul Gandhi over his alleged British citizenship, Priyanka said, “The whole of India knows that Rahul Gandhi is an Indian. People have seen him being born and grow up in India.”

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday hit back at the government’s notice to Congress President Rahul Gandhi asking him to respond to a foreign citizenship allegation. “Kya bakwaas hai yeh (What nonsense is this)?” the 47-year-old was quoted as saying by news agency on Tuesday in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi, where she was campaigning for her brother.

Priyanka Gandhi on Rahul Gandhi’s citizenship – watch

Earlier today, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a notice to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi over his citizenship after Rajya Sabha MP Dr Subramanian Swamy filed a complaint against the Gandhi scion. The MHA has asked Rahul Gandhi to respond on the matter within a fortnight.

Swamy has alleged that the Congress chief had declared himself a British national during the documentation of a company he was connected with.

The notice by the home ministry comes in the middle of crucial lok sabha elections, ahead of the fifth phase of voting. The Congress chief is contesting from Amethi along with Kerala’s Wayanad.

MHA notice to Rahul Gandhi over citizenship
The notice is signed by BC Joshi, MHA director in charge of citizenship. The basis of the notice is BJP parliamentarian Subramanian Swamy’s documents on Backops, an organisation Rahul Gandhi was associated. As per Swamy’s complaint, in 2003, Backops was registered in the United Kingdom with Rahul Gandhi as one of its directors and the secretary.

The complaint claims that in the Backops’s annual returns in 2005 and 2006, Gandhi declared himself as British. The letter adds that the dissolution application of the organisation which is dated February 17, 2009 also mentions 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 wrote in the notice to Gandhi.

Subramanian Swamy who is known for his fierce criticism of the Gandhis, had earlier raised the allegation in 2015, in his complaint to the ethics committee of parliament, and also has repeated the same on several instances.

In his reply to the parliamentary panel, Rahul Gandhi termed the allegation as an “endeavor to malign my name”.

Congress has termed it as a sign of the BJP’s desperation and questioned such a notice when the Congress chief has been contesting elections since 2004.

The Centre, however, has defended the move and called it ‘a normal process.’

“When a member of Parliament writes to any ministry, action required on their query is taken. It is not a big development, it is a normal process,” Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on the MHA notice.

BJP trains guns on Gandhi
The ruling BJP, on the other hand, remains undeterred and trained guns at the Congress chief.

“This is the story of three Cs – Citizenship, Confusion and Clarification. These questions raised by MHA are based on authenticated documents. Which Rahul is original? Rahul of London or Rahul of Lutyens?” asked BJP leader Sambit Patra and added that Gandhi himself had created the confusion over his citizenship and he will need to clarify.

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