As the controversy over Congress President Rahul Gandhi's citizenship, his name, his education qualifications and his UK property details snowballed on Saturday, the BJP held a press conference to highlight the objection raised by the independent candidate for the Amethi elections Dhruv Lal who is the complainant in the matter.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP GVL Narshima Rao holding a press conference in the BJP headquaters in Delhi, demanded answers from the Congress President.
In his news conference, Rao reiterated some of the points raised by the complaint and put the ball in the Congress president's court for a full disclosure of the facts. Rao emphasised on the following:
- With respect to the citizenship of Rahul Gandhi: "In his 2004 election affidavit, Rahul Gandhi had declared that he was a director of a British company called BackOps Limited. In the Memorandum of Association submitted by the company to the British Authorities in 2005, Rahul Gandhi Gandhi's nationality is written as British," said GVL Rao citing the Citizenship Act 1955 which states that acquiring citizenship of any other country automatically forfeits Indian citizenship.
- With respect to education qualifications: "In his 2004 election affidavit, Rahul Gandhi had mentioned that he had completed his senior secondary in 1989, after which he did M Phil in Development Economics from Trinity College in 1995, whereas in 2009 and 2014 affidavits, he had introduced another qualification in between, of Bachelors of Arts from Rollins College, Florida in the year 1994, as per the complaint," the BJP MP said, raising a question over how Rahul Gandhi completed an M Phil degree one year after his Bachelors' in 1994. Further, citing how the complaint highlighted differences in the name of the course, Rao added, "In 2009 election affidavit, it is said that he did his M. Phil in “Development Economics” from Trinity College, Cambridge University, whereas in the election affidavit in 2014 and for 2019, it is declared he has a degree of M Phil in “Development Studies” from Trinity College, Cambridge University, the complaint claims."
- With respect to his name: Highlighting the discrepancy over his name in the complaint by Dhruv Lal, GVL said that Rollins College, Florida in the year 1994 had issued a degree of Bachelor of Arts and University of Cambridge (Trinity College) in the year 2004-05 has issued degree of M. Phil in Development Studies to the candidate named as “Raul Vinci” and not “Rahul Gandhi”.
A key point made by GVL Narasimha Rao in highlighting the affidavit's claims was that while this wasn't the first time that these same questions had been posed, this time around, the one asking the questions was a constitutional authority and that Rahul Gandhi was left with no choice but furnish a response.
Meanwhile, following the complaint seeking scrutiny of the nomination papers, the Returning Officer of Amethi has sought answers from Rahul Gandhi's representative Rahul Kaushik, who has in turn sought time till Monday, April 22, to address them. The request for time has been granted.