Congress notice to Chennai paper for questioning Rahul Gandhi's qualifications

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New Delhi, Apr.29 (ANI): The Congress party on Wednesday sent a legal notice to the Chennai-based New Indian Express newspaper for publishing what it called "wild allegations and sly insinuations" on the educational qualifications of party General Secretary Rahul Gandhi.

"Deeply distressed by your wild allegations, sly insinuations and self-serving innuendos, all premised on complete falsehoods and steeped in malice, a notice is being issued," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters at the All India Congress Committee headquarters here.

Singhvi, a lawyer by profession, said that he had himself drafted the legal notice against the New Indian Express for questioning the M Phil degree of Rahul Gandhi in Development Economics from the University of Cambridge.

Quoting a letter from Cambridge University, which stated that Gandhi was a student at the institution and a member of the Trinity College from October 1994 to July 1995, Singhvi said he was awarded an M Phil degree in Development Studies in 1995.

The notice said that it was beyond doubt that Gandhi had received the degree.

"Instead of verifying anything from our client, you wrote the subject article falsely, recklessly and with complete disregard for truth, alleging that our client (Gandhi) did not complete his degree," Singhvi's legal notice said.

Accusing the newspaper of bias, the notice said that it was unfortunate that such an issue had been brought up at the time of elections.

"Our client is concerned with the systematic attempts that you have been making to defame him and his family from time to time by false, malicious, scurrilous and defamatory personal allegations," it said.

The notice also gives details of how Rahul Gandhi was admitted to St Stephen's College, Delhi University in 1989 and then went to Harvard, the US, for a Bachelor's degree after completing a year in Delhi.

It said that Gandhi had relocated for security reasons and had completed his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rollins College, Florida in the US in 1994.

The legal notice charged the newspaper with having succeeded in defaming Gandhi at the time of polls, and added that this had caused him "grave and irreparable harm".

The legal notice demanded an unconditional apology from the newspaper and said that its management should issue a clarification both in the paper and on its website.It said that if the offending articles are taken off the website forthwith and a clarification published as mentioned in the legal notice, Rahul Gandhi could reconsider his options. (ANI)

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