NEW DELHI -- Bhartiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy has accused Congress Party Vice President Rahul Gandhi of being a British citizen, and demanded that he be stripped of his Indian citizenship and Lok Sabha membership.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Swamy has claimed that Gandhi declared his nationality as British when filing the returns of a company--Backops Ltd--he had incorporated in the UK in 2003.
The company was registered in 2003 and dissolved in 2009, according to the documents Swamy released to the media.
"As you can see from the company Annual Return (on page 6 bottom of the enclosed document) that Mr. Rahul Gandhi has given his date of birth correctly but has declared himself to be of British nationality with a United Kingdom address. The annual return filed for this company on October 10, 2005 lists Mr. Rahul Gandhi as Director of the company with United Kingdom address as well as attestation of his nationality as British. Mr. Rahul Gandhi also held 65 percent of the shares of the total shares issued by this company as on that date. The same facts were repeated, viz, that is Mr. Rahul Gandhi as having British nationality in the Annual Returns filed on October 31, 2006 as well. Finally in the dissolution application as well, Mr. Rahul Gandhi states that his nationality is British as on the date he was appointed as director of the said company."
"Hence I urge you to treat this matter with great urgency and immediately take necessary steps to see if this prima facie evidence is rebuttable, and if not, order that Mr. Rahul Gandhi be stripped of his citizenship and his membership of the Lok Sabha, forthwith." Subramanian Swamy's letter to PM Modi
Read the full document here.
NDTV journalist Sreenivasan Jain posted documents on Twitter that showed that in the incorporation documents for Backops, accessed through Companies House, UK, Gandhi's nationality has indeed been shown as Indian, but in subsequent returns that were filed, his nationality has indeed been declared as British.
The Congress Party has dismissed Swamy's claim as "silly", but is yet to explain the discrepancy.
"It has been the habit of Subramanian Swamy to make silly statements in order to try and seek some publicity whenever he is sidelined. Nobody takes his statements seriously", Congress Party spokesperson Ajay Maken said at press briefing.
In his complaint filed in a Delhi trial court, last year, Swamy accused Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, who heads the Congress Party, of cheating and misappropriating funds during the acquisition of the now defunct English-daily National Herald.
Swamy had also approached the Enforcement Directorate to register a case against the two Congress Party leaders under Prevention of Money Laundering Act. In September, the Enforcement Directorate said that it was initiating a fresh investigations into allegations of money laundering.
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