- "Entire country knows that Rahul is Hindustani," Priyanka Gandhi said
- Rahul Gandhi has been asked by home ministry to respond within 15 days
- Rahul Gandhi, in a reply, had a called it an "endeavor to malign my name"
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, responding to the government's notice asking her brother Rahul Gandhi to clarify whether he is an Indian citizen, said today, "The entire country knows he was born and brought up here". The notice reflects the ruling BJP's fear of losing, the Congress leader told NDTV.
Rahul Gandhi has been asked by the home ministry to respond within 15 days to a complaint by BJP parliamentarian Subramanian Swamy, who has alleged that the Congress president declared himself a British citizen in the documents of a company he was associated with.
"The entire country knows that Rahul Gandhi is Hindustani. Everybody knows he was born, raised here. Everyone knows. What rubbish," Priyanka Gandhi told reporters in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi, where she is campaigning for her brother.
"The notice is out of fear that they might be losing."
The home ministry notice comes midway through the national election, after the fourth round of voting. Rahul Gandhi is contesting from Amethi as well as Wayanad in Kerala.
The BJP has accused the Congress president of "running away" from Amethi because he is afraid of losing to the BJP's Smriti Irani. "We have no fear of losing Amethi. I have a fear of making unkept promises," she said.
The notice from BC Joshi, the home ministry director in charge of citizenship, is based on Subramanian Swamy's documents on Backops, a company with which Rahul Gandhi was associated.
According to Mr Swamy's complaint, Rahul Gandhi recorded himself as British twice in annual returns filed by the company in which he was a director. Backops Limited was registered in 2003 and filed for dissolution in 2009. Though the BJP leader has been raising the allegations for several years, this is the first time the government has responded to it.
"You are requested to intimate the factual position in the matter to this ministry within a fortnight of the receipt of the communication," the home ministry writes to Rahul Gandhi.
Mr Swamy used the same documents to complain to the ethics committee of parliament in 2015.
Rahul Gandhi, in his reply to the parliamentary panel, had a called it an "endeavor to malign my name".