CITIZENSHIP ROW: Supreme Court to hear plea to debar Rahul Gandhi from contesting polls

NEW DELHI: As the dual citizenship issue has come back to haunt Rahul Gandhi in this election season, the Supreme Court stated on Thursday it would hear a petition filed by two Delhi citizens.  The two have sought an apex court order to the Election Commission to debar the Congress President from contesting polls and becoming a Member of Parliament.

Delhi citizens Jai Bhagwan Goyal and Chander Prakash Tyagi have stated that Rahul Gandhi had voluntarily acquired British citizenship. A similar complaint against Rahul Gandhi had been dismissed by the Supreme Court in 2015, saying the submission was “frivolous.” However, on Thursday, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said proof of Rahul Gandhi’s British citizenship lay in the incorporation certificate of a UK company, BACKOPS Ltd, and the tax returns filed by the company.

A while ago, the Ministry of Home Affairs had issued a notice to Rahul Gandhi on the issue of his dual citizenship.

A few days ago, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath had stated that Rahul Gandhi goes by name Raul Vinci in the UK and Italy. Rahul Gandhi had stated in the past that he did an M.Phil in Developmental Economics from Cambridge University. At that time, he appeared to have adopted the name Raul Vinci, also to camouflage his identity while at study, in view of the threats the Nehru family faced to their lives.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had complained to the Centre about Rahul Gandhi’s citizenship issue. Following this, by April end, the Union Home Ministry issued notice to Rahul Gandhi to explain matters. It is pointed out that India does not allow dual citizenship and this would pose problems in election arena. Someone who holds a foreign citizenship cannot sit in parliament as a people’s representative.

Rahul Gandhi is contesting the Lok Sabha polls from two constituencies — Amethi, where he is seeking representation for a fourth term; and Wayanad in Kerala, where he is contesting the polls for the first time.

The BJP is pursuing the matter. “We have registration papers. Rahul Gandhi is director, promoter and secretaryof Backops Ltd. As per annual returns filed by the company in 2005, Rahul Gandhi had 65 per share in the company and presented himself as a British citizen,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra had stated.

An issue had also arisen as to where was Rahul Gandhi born, but a Delhi hospital certificate came to the Congress president’s help. .–IHN-NN


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