Amethi (Uttar Pradesh): The Returning Officer of Amethi constituency on Monday declared Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s election affidavit along with nomination papers for the Lok Sabha elections as “valid”.
“All documents submitted by Congress president Rahul Gandhi are valid. The complainant has not given any evidence to challenge Rahul Gandhi’s nomination or to justify his claims against him. So we declare his nomination from Amethi as valid,” the Returning Officer Ram Manohar Mishra said.
On April 20, Mishra had ordered the postponement of scrutiny of Rahul’s nomination papers to today.
Rahul’s lawyer KC Kaushik, in response to objections raised on his nomination, said: “Rahul Gandhi was born in India and he holds an Indian passport, he never took citizenship of any other country. His passport, Voter-ID and his income tax, everything is of India.”
“I don’t know who Raul Vinci is or where he came from. Rahul Gandhi had done his M.Phil in 1995 from the University of Cambridge, I have attached a copy of the certificate,” he added.
On April 21, NDA candidate from Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency Thushar Vellappally had filed a complaint with Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora, seeking review of Rahul’s election affidavit filed along with his nomination papers.
In his complaint, Vellappally had claimed that Rahul is “not eligible to contest” the Lok Sabha elections because he holds dual passports and “is not a citizen of India”. Vellappally who is contesting against Rahul from the constituency is the chief of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), the political arm of the Sree Narayan Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP).
“It is understood that Rahul Gandhi is having a passport of a foreign country also. He has not disclosed this fact in the nomination filed or in the affidavit,” Vellappally had said in his complaint.
In Amethi, an Independent candidate, Dhruv Lal, had also filed a complaint alleging discrepancies in Rahul’s candidature.
“There are three basic issues we have raised,” Ravi Prakash, who is Lal’s lawyer, had told ANI on Saturday. One of the issues he has raised is on the “basis of a certificate of incorporation of a company registered in the UK wherein he has declared himself a UK citizen,” Prakash had alleged.
He had said that under the Representation of People Act, a non-Indian citizen is barred from contesting elections in the country.
While alleging that there are a lot of issues in Rahul’s educational qualifications, Prakash had said: “His education qualifications don’t match in the documents. He has used the name ‘Raul Vinci’ in his college and there are no certificates available in the name of Rahul Gandhi.”
He had added, “So, we are asking is Rahul Gandhi and Raul Vinci the same person? If it is not the case then we demand that he gives his original educational certificates, so that these can be verified.”
Amethi, a traditional bastion of the Gandhi family, will go to polls on May 6 and Counting of votes will take place on May 23.
Condemning the allegations against Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader KC Venugopal had said: “These are bogus claims and is not even an issue to be answered in my view. They know their future. Hence, they are resorting to this kind of things.”