Gogoi, Congress cornered over Subba issue

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Guwahati, Apr 29: The opposition in Assam today cornered the Congress and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for selecting a Nepali citizen to be their three-time MP.

As the CBI informed the Supreme Court yesterday that Lok Sabha member Mani Kumar Subba was actually a Nepali citizen, the Congress came under attack from the AASU, AGP, BJP and even the Left parties.

''It is a national shame that we have a foreigner sitting in the Lok Sabha. Congress and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi will never be forgiven for this,'' said AASU adviser Dr Samujjal Kr Bhattacharrya.

Politicians in Assam, cutting across party lines, demanded the controversial Congress MP step down after the Central Bureau of Investigation questioned his Indian citizenship in an affidavit filed in the apex court.

''With the CBI saying in clear terms that Subba's birth certificate was not genuine, he should immediately resign and then clear his citizenship issue,'' Education Minister and senior Congress leader Ripun Bora told UNI.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices R V Raveendran and M K Sharma had asked Subba's counsel and Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi to respond to the CBI report, which, it said, was against the MP.

Singhvi maintained that there was no truth in the allegation.

But the CBI, in its report submitted before the court, said there was a ''ring of truth'' in the allegation that Subba was not an Indian national but a Nepali.

The CBI had said prima facie there appeared to be some truth in the allegation of petitioner Birendra Nath Singh, a resident of Noida, who had said that Subba was none other than Moni Ram Limbo, a national of Nepal, who was convicted in a murder case.

Last night the chief minister reviewed the situation and a line of defense had been prepared putting the blame on the past leadership of the Congress which selected Mr Subba for the first time as a party candidate in the late eighties.

''The Congress will not protect Subba if he is not an Indian citizen. This is just an interim order and if he is found guilty the law will take its own course,'' Haren Das, general secretary of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, said.

''It is a shame that the Congress is being represented by a foreigner. Subba should be arrested and deported to Nepal immediately. His younger brother is also an associate member of the state assembly. He should also be removed,'' said former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta.

Media reports alleged that Subba was a murder convict in Nepal and was jailed from 1971 to 1973 before he escaped to India. After entering India, Subba allegedly set up a successful gambling and lottery business, before entering politics in 1983 during the height of the Assam movement.

He became a member of the Congress party and got elected for the first time as a legislator from Naobaicha in Lakhimpur district in 1991. In 1996, he first lost the assembly elections from Naobaicha but was declared as having won after recounting of votes. Subba entered Parliament for the first time from Tezpur in 1998 and became a member of the 12th Lok Sabha.


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