Amethi preview: Rahul Gandhi to campaign while EC scrutinises nomination papers amid Congress chief's 'British citizenship' controversy
Amethi, Rahul Gandhi's home ground in Uttar Pradesh, is set for an action-packed Monday as the Congress chief is expected to hold roadshows and meetings in his constituency while his nomination papers are under scrutiny.
Rahul Gandhi is set to hold meetings and roadshows in Amethi at a time when his nomination papers from the seat are embroiled in a controversy.
An Independent candidate has alleged discrepancies in Rahul's nomination papers, questioning how he could contest Indian elections when he had declared himself a British citizen.
Druv Lal has also alleged discrepancies in the Congress chief's educational qualifications.
Amethi, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's home ground in Uttar Pradesh, is set for an action-packed Monday. Rahul, along with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, is set to campaign in both Amethi and Raebareli, with roadshows and nukkad sabhas planned for Amethi.
The top Congress leaders are also expected to hold meetings with party workers and campaign in the Tiloi and Salon Vidhan Sabha segments of Amethi Lok Sabha constituency.
These meetings and roadshows come at a time when Rahul's nomination papers from the Amethi seat — from where he was elected three times and his father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi four times — are embroiled in a controversy.
The Election Commission is expected to examine his nomination documents on Monday after they postponed it on Saturday. Returning Officer of Amethi Ram Manohar Mishra had pushed the scrutiny of Rahul's nomination papers to Monday after four people objected to the documents, alleging discrepancies. After Rahul's representative Rahul Kaushik sought time to reply to the objections, the returning officer gave them till 10.30 am on Monday.
At the centre of the controversy around Rahul's nomination papers is that he has allegedly declared himself a British citizen in the certificate of incorporation of a company registered in the United Kingdom. Rahul has purportedly filed income tax returns in Britain declaring himself a citizen of the country.
Among those who alleged discrepancies in Rahul's nomination papers is Dhruv Lal, an Independent candidate contesting against the Congress chief from Amethi. Lal's lawyer Ravi Prakash said that under the Representation of People Act, 1951, an individual who is not an Indian citizen is barred from contesting elections in the country.
"On what basis has he become a British citizen?" Prakash asked. “And how did he obtain Indian citizenship now? Unless there is clarity over the matter, we have requested the returning officer not to accept Rahul Gandhi's nomination papers."
Prakash also claimed that Rahul's election affidavit did not mention the assets the UK company held between 2003 and 2009, and that the Congress chief's educational qualifications did not match with he had submitted in his nomination documents.
"He has used the name 'Raul Vinci' in his college, and there are no certificates available in the name of Rahul Gandhi," the lawyer alleged. "So we are asking whether Rahul Gandhi and Raul Vinci are the same person. If this is not the case, then we demand that he give his original educational certificates so they can be verified."
After the news broke on Saturday, Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao had expressed surprise that Rahul's representative had not been able to answer the objections raised against his nomination.
— BJP (@BJP4India) April 20, 2019
— BJP (@BJP4India) April 20, 2019
"Rahul Gandhi's name has been shown to be listed as a British citizen in documents related to a company in the UK. Was Rahul Gandhi a British citizen?" he questioned on Twitter. Amethi is set to vote in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha election on 6 May. The primary contest is expected to be between Rahul and BJP's Smriti Irani in Amethi. The results will be declared on 23 May.
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The Congress leader also exhorted all political leaders 'to think deeply about the consequences of holding large public rallies under the current circumstances'