The returning officer in Amethi constituency of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday ordered the postponement of scrutiny of Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s nomination papers to April 22. Ram Manohar Mishra ordered the postponement after four individuals objected to the documents, alleging there were discrepancies in them.
The returning officer said Gandhi’s representative Rahul Kaushik sought time to reply to the objections. The officer said Kaushik has been given time till 10.30 am on April 22.
“There are three basic issues we have raised,” Ravi Prakash, the lawyer of Dhruv Lal, one of those who objected to the candidature, told ANI. Lal is an independent candidate from Amethi.
Prakash alleged that Gandhi has declared himself a British citizen in the certificate of incorporation of a company registered in the United Kingdom. Prakash said that under the Representation of People Act, 1951, an individual who is not an Indian citizen is barred from contesting elections in the country.
“On what basis has he become a British citizen?” Prakash asked. “And how did he obtain Indian citizenship now? Unless there is clarity over the matter, we have requested the returning officer not to accept Rahul Gandhi’s nomination papers.”
The lawyer claimed that there is no mention in Gandhi’s election affidavit about the assets held by the UK company between 2003 to 2009. Prakash claimed Gandhi’s educational qualifications don’t match with those given in the documents. “He has used the name ‘Raul Vinci’ in his college and there are no certificates available in the name of Rahul Gandhi,” Prakash alleged. “So, we are asking is Rahul Gandhi and Raul Vinci the same person? If it is not the case then we demand that he gives his original educational certificates, so that these can be verified.”
Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao expressed surprise that Gandhi’s representative has been unable to answer the objections raised against his nomination. “Rahul Gandhi’s name has been shown to be listed as a British citizen in documents related to a company in the UK,” he said. “Was Rahul Gandhi a British citizen?”
The Lok Sabha elections are being held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19. The results will be declared on May 23. Elections will be held in Amethi on May 6. The BJP has fielded Union minister Smriti Irani against Gandhi.
Allahabad High Court asks petitioner to approach Centre
The Allahabad High Court had on Friday asked a petitioner to approach the Centre with his complaint about Gandhi’s citizenship, PTI reported. The Lucknow bench of the High Court said a competent authority in the government could examine and decide the matter expeditiously.
A person called RK Singh had approached the High Court with a plea alleging that Gandhi had filed income tax returns in Britain showing himself to be a citizen of the country. The bench was told that the petitioner had filed a representation before the government on December 12, 2015, but no reply had been received yet.