NEW DELHI: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi took a defiant stand against the notice sent to him by the Lok Sabha’s Ethics Committee on his alleged dual citizenship. Clarifying that he had never taken dual citizenship, Rahul, in his reply to the panel, questioned the manner in which the notice was sent to him as no documentary evidence was presented in the complaint filed against him.
Taking on BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who accused him of holding a British passport, Rahul challenged him to produce proof of the same. Rahul’s reply came after the Ethics Committee, headed by BJP patriarch LK Advani, sent him a notice two weeks ago to explain his dual citizenship after BJP MP Mahesh Giri lodged a complaint with Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. Mahajan had referred the issue to the Ethics Committee in January. Giri’s complaint was based on Swamy’s allegation that Rahul had declared himself a British citizen to float a firm in that country. Swamy had also approached the Speaker in this regard and had even written to the Prime Minister.
Rahul said that even the complaint against him was not in order. “I am surprised that the Committee of Ethics has chosen to take cognizance of a complaint that is not in order. This is an endeavour to malign my good name. I have never at any stage sought or acquired British citizenship. My identity is that of an Indian,” he said in his reply sent to the panel secretariat on March 23.
He asked the committee to check with the complainant for evidence and suggested it could inquire with the British office if he had ever applied for UK citizenship. “The documents on which he relies in support of his contention nowhere mention that I have declared myself as a British citizen,” he said, alleging it was evident the complainant had “wantonly misled”.
Taking a swipe at Swamy, who is also fighting legal battle against the Gandhis in the National Herald case, Rahul said, “I urge Mr Swamy for placing on record any proof of Rahul Gandhi being a British citizen by disclosing his alleged British passport number and relevant documents.”