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Amethi candidate challenges Rahul's poll affidavit

Source: PTI
April 20, 2019 20:04 IST
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Complainant Dhruv Lal alleges discrepancies over citizenship and educational qualifications in Congress president's election affidavit.

An independent candidate on Saturday raised objections over Congress president Rahul Gandhi's nomination from Amethi, alleging discrepancies over citizenship and educational qualifications in his election affidavit.

Citing the complaint, the Bharatiya Janata Party 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 United Kingdom-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.

Yogendra Misra, the president of the district Congress unit, said the objections will be countered legally on Monday.

Uttar Pradesh's Chief Electoral Officer L Venkateshwar Lu said he has sought information on the complaint from the district election authorities.

In Delhi, BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao 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.

If anyone has an objection to what is recorded in an affidavit, the person should approach the court, they said.

The BJP spokesperson claimed that a British company, in which Gandhi had said in 2004 that he made investments, had made a submission that year to the authorities there that he was a British citizen.

Referring to the complaint, the BJP spokesperson said there are 'discrepancies and attempts to suppress facts' in Gandhi's affidavits filed during different elections from 2004 to 2014.

The Congress chief had said that he did M Phil in development economics from Cambridge University, but later claimed it was in development studies, Rao alleged.

The BJP spokesman said inquiries show that one Rahul Vincy and not Rahul Gandhi got the degree that particular year.

"We will like to know if Rahul Gandhi goes by multiple names in different countries," Rao said.

He also wondered if the Gandhi scion's qualifications were like Congress manifestos that change every five years.


Guj minister calls Rahul 'puppy', CM disapproves

Gujarat minister Ganpatsinh Vasava on Saturday likened Congress chief Rahul Gandhi to a 'puppy who would go to Pakistan or China if the they threw bread at it', inviting censure from not just the opposition party but also state chief minister Vijay Rupani.

Vasava had earlier taken a swipe at the claim of some Congress supporters that Gandhi was an 'incarnation of Lord Shiva', asking the Congress chief to prove the claim by consuming poison.

Speaking at a tribal gathering on Saturday in Dediapada in Narmada district, part of Bharuch Lok Sabha constituency, the BJP leader said, "When Rahul Gandhi gets up from the chair, it appears as if a puppy has got up wagging its tail, which would go to Pakistan and China if they threw bread at it."

During the address, Vasava likened Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a lion.

Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said Vasava's remarks showed that the BJP has been rejected by the people of Gujarat.

"Vasava has done injustice to the tribal community to which he belongs. He should understand using such language will not get him any support as long as he does not give an account of what he did for the tribals," Doshi said.

Gujarat Congress in charge Rajiv Satav said, "This is the BJP's style of functioning, but the people of Gujarat have decided that it will stand with the Congress."

Chief Minister Rupani too disapproved of Vasava's remarks and urged him to show restraint.

"In the election, in the heated environment, one should show restraint. Words should be used with firmness, but one should not use unsavoury personal language," Rupani told reporters in Rajkot.

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