In an attempt to douse the controversy over a notice to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi over his citizenship, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday called it a 'normal procedure'. "When a member of Parliament writes to any ministry, action required on their query is taken. It is not a big development, it is a normal process," he said.
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The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued a notice to the Congress president to clarify his nationality after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Subramanian Swamy alleged that he is a British national. Rahul has been asked to submit his reply within a fortnight.
The MHA in a letter dated April 29 said: "It has been brought out that a Company named Backops Limited was registered in the United Kingdom in the year 2003..and that you were one of the Directors and Secretary of the said Company. It has been further brought out in the complaint that in the Company's Annual Returns filed on 10/10/2005 and 31/10/2006, your date of birth has been given as 19/06/1970 and that you had declared your nationality as British. Further, in the Dissolution application dated 17/02/2009 of the above-referred company, your nationality has been mentioned as British."
The notice comes over a week after an Independent candidate and three others in Amethi had raised objections on the Congress president's poll documents over allegations of discrepancies over citizenship and educational qualifications. Amethi's returning officer had, however, deemed Rahul's nomination papers valid and rejected the objections.
Swamy in his representation before the Home Ministry had alleged that Rahul served as one of the Directors and Secretary of the British firm Backops Ltd, which is registered in the UK since 2003. He had filed the original complaint to the Home Minister on 21 September 2017 asking him to take "necessary steps to see if this prima facie evidence is rebuttable, and if not, order that Rahul Gandhi be stripped of his citizenship, and his membership of the Lok Sabha, forthwith".
In his complaint, Swamy had then alleged that Gandhi held 65 per cent of of the total shares issued by the British firm.