New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi had declared himself a British citizen in the registration papers of a private company in London, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy alleged today, a charge that the Congress has dismissed.
Mr Swamy today released documents along with his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that the Congress vice president be stripped of his Indian citizenship and Parliamentary membership.
The documents, he said, show that Mr Gandhi had called himself "British" on the annual returns of a UK-based firm "Backops Limited". The 45-year-old Congress leader was the director and secretary of the company, according to the documents that the BJP leader said he had extracted from the company law authorities of Britain.
The Congress has strongly denied the allegations.
"From the day Rahul Gandhi was born, he has been an Indian national and always held an Indian passport," said the party's spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.
As proof, the Congress released the company's documents of incorporation, dated August 2003, in which Rahul Gandhi is shown as an Indian national.
But in the company's annual returns filed in 2005 and 2006, Mr Gandhi declared his nationality as British.
NDTV has accessed the original records from the website of Companies House, the UK government's equivalent of India's Registrar of Companies, which establishes the discrepancy - Mr Gandhi is shown as an Indian national in the incorporation documents, but as British in the annual returns.
By way of explanation, the Congress says that the British government may have made an error, and that they will write to them to remedy it.
The BJP's Siddharth Nath Singh said, "Congress hasn't answered fully. Rahul was MP from Amethi then, in his affidavit he showed he is Indian, but these papers contradict the claim. The Congress must answer."
The company, Mr Swamy said, was dissolved in 2009. He alleged that even in the dissolution application, Mr Gandhi stated that his nationality is British on the date he was appointed director of the company.
"As you can see from the company annual record that Mr Rahul Gandhi has given his date of birth correctly but has declared himself to be of British nationality with an United Kingdom address ... this is, prima facie, a violation of the law and the constitutional position in the country," Mr Swamy says in his letter to PM Modi, adding: "I urge you to treat this matter with great urgency and immediately take necessary steps to see if this prima facie evidence is rebuttable, and if not, order than Mr Rahul Gandhi be stripped of his citizenship and his membership of the Lok Sabha."
The Congress claims Mr Swamy's allegations reflect their frustration at the Bihar defeat and the "internal revolt" brewing in its senior leadership."