New Delhi: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday broke his silence over BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy’s allegations that the former had declared himself as a British national in the annual return of a company in Britain, saying he was not afraid of the Narendra Modi government.
While addressing Youth Congress leaders, he asked PM Modi not to use ‘champoos’ (lackeys) for levelling ‘baseless’ allegations against him.
“I am not afraid of this government and ready for a time-bound probe. If you find anything against me, put me in jail,” Gandhi said, adding, “Modi ji show your 56-inch chest, I’m not scared.”
Reacting to Gandhi’s barb, Swamy called the former a “third-class” person from the Nehru family. “Rahul Gandhi didn’t even pass the college.”
While addressing a press conference in Ahmedabad earlier on Thursday, the BJP leader alleged that “Sonia and Rahul get commission through the directors of the companies, including one in France which supplies submarine parts worth Rs 20,000 crore to India.”
“Rahul Gandhi is not a political leader but a commission agent… All Congress leaders are commission agents,” Swamy said.
“Rahul started many companies to get commission… I will enquire whether he has the citizenship of Turkey and other countries or not,” Swamy said, adding, “The mother-son duo own wealth worth Rs 2.50 lakh crore, which is more than the Income Tax revenue of the country”.
Swamy on Monday had alleged that Gandhi had declared himself as a British national in the annual return of a company in Britain. The Congress termed his allegation “petty and mindless mud-slinging”.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Bhartiya Janata Party leader alleged that Gandhi was director of a company – Backops Limited – which was incorporated in 2003 in Britain and was later dissolved in 2009.
Swamy demanded steps to strip Gandhi of his Indian citizenship.
According to the company annual return, “Gandhi has given his date of birth correctly but has declared himself to be of British nationality with a UK address”, the letter said.
It said the Congress leader has “prima facie, committed an unconstitutional act and therefore be liable to be stripped of his citizenship and membership of the Lok Sabha”.
Responding to the allegation, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said: “Frustrated by their humiliating defeat in Bihar elections and internal revolt brewing among the senior most leadership, BJP’s dirty tricks department led by Subramanian Swamy is resorting to petty and mindless mud-slinging.”
“In this quest, Swamy and the BJP are repeating rehashed allegations levelled earlier on multiple occasions, including through press conferences held in Ahmedabad and Delhi in October 2012. We reject them with the contempt that they deserve and the falsehood they seek to perpetuate,” he added.
Surjewala said: “From the day he was born, Gandhi has held Indian citizenship and Indian passport and has never held citizenship of any other country nor has he represented as such. The allegation by Swamy is entirely false.”
(With inputs from agencies)