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Amethi candidate challenges Rahul's affidavit, raises questions on citizenship

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: April 20, 2019  | 18:18 IST

(Eds: Updates with Amethi inputs, includes BJP reax) Amethi/New Delhi, Apr 20 (PTI) An independent candidate 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 BJP said in New Delhi asked Gandhi to come clean on the matter. Complainant Dhruv Rajís lawyer Ravi Prakash showed reporters purported copies of a certificate of incorporation of a UK-registered company in which the Congress leader is stated to be a British national. The returning officer (RO) has asked Rahul Kaushik, the Congress leaderís counsel, to give his reply on Monday at 10.30 am. 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. Ravi Prakash said he has sought a clarification on Gandhiís 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 Pradeshís 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. They said if someone approaches an RO raising objections, the official must hear the affected party. If anyone has an objection to what is recorded in an affidavit, the person should approach the court, the sources 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. PTI CORR NAB SAB KR SRY ASH

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