An independent candidate has raised objections over Congress president Rahul Gandhi's nomination from Amethi, alleging discrepancies over citizenship and educational qualifications in his election affidavit. Citing the complaint, the BJP said in New Delhi asked Gandhi to come clean on the matter.
Complainant Dhruv Lal's lawyer Ravi Prakash showed reporters purported copies of a certificate of incorporation of a UK-registered company in which the Congress leader is stated to be a British national.
Amethi's returning officer Ram Manohar Misra told reporters that Rahul Gandhi's counsel had sought time to reply to the objections and has been asked to do so by Monday.Ravi Prakash claimed that the UK Company had existed for five years and would have made some profit, but that has not been disclosed in the affidavit.
He told reporters that he has urged the returning officer to look into this aspect.
The independent candidate's counsel said he has sought a clarification on Gandhi's citizenship as being a UK citizen would bar him from fighting the Lok Sabha elections.
Yogendra Misra, the president of the district Congress unit, said the objections will be countered legally on Monday.
Uttar Pradesh's Chief Electoral Officer L Venkateshwar Lu said he has sought information on the complaint from the district election authorities. In Delhi, BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said it is "stunning" that Gandhi's lawyer sought time to reply to the objections.
Election Commission sources said the returning officer is the final authority on such a matter, but he cannot check the veracity of what is submitted in an election affidavit.
If anyone has an objection to what is recorded in an affidavit, the person should approach the court, they said.
The BJP spokesperson claimed that a British company, in which Gandhi had said in 2004 that he made investments, had made a submission that year to the authorities there that he was a British citizen.Referring to the complaint, the BJP spokesperson said there are "discrepancies and attempts to suppress facts" in Gandhi's affidavits filed during different elections from 2004 to 2014.