Citizenship row: Ethics Committee serves notice on Rahul Gandhi

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Rahul-Gandhi1The Ethics Committee of Parliament, which is chaired BJP veteran parliamentarian L K Advani,  issued a notice to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi asking whether he had declared himself a British citizen.

The proof submitted along with the claim was dismissed by the Supreme Court in December 2015.

While Congress went hyperbole over the allegation, Gandhi on 13 March said “We will deal with it.” The controversy over Gandhi’s citizenship resurfaced in Parliament on 14 March, sparking a political row.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan forwarded BJP MP Mahesh Girri’s complaint to the Ethics Committee and sought an inquiry into Subramanian Swamy’s accusation that Gandhi had declared himself a British citizen to float a firm in the UK in January.

Serving a show cause notice on Gandhi, the Ethics Committee questioned how he had shown himself as a British citizen when he was about to become a director of a firm,” said Arjun Ram Meghwal, member of the committee.

Girri, an MP from East Delhi, had maintained that it was necessary that people know the reality and requested the Speaker to initiate an proper inquiry.

After referring the matter to the Ethics Committee, the Speaker said whenever an MP sends a complaint to the Speaker, it is referred to the committee according to rules.

Subramanian Swamy in 2015 in a letter written to PM Narendra Modi charged Gandhi be stripped of his citizenship as he declared himself as a British citizen (2003-2009) for floating a private company in London. “The name of the company is BACKOPS Limited and MP Gandhi is the Director and Secretary,” the letter stated.

Hitting back, Gandhi accused the PM of indulging in mudslinging through his “cronies”. He dared the government to investigate the allegations against him and send him to jail if found guilty.

Party leader Digvijaya Singh said the complaint didn’t deserve attention. “A person who is born in India and whose grandmother and father have been prime ministers, can that person be a citizen of some other country. The Ethics Committee should dismiss it.”