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Nurse who witnessed Rahul Gandhi’s birth questions Swamy’s nationality jibe

By Anuj Cariappa
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Kochi, May 04: Rajamma Vavathil, a retired nurse and a voter in Wayanad, says forcefully that no one should contest Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's citizenship status -- after all she was one of those on duty at Delhi's Holy Family Hospital on June 19, 1970 when he was born.

The 72-year-old, who was still in training to be a nurse at the time, said she was among the first to take the infant Rahul in her hands.

Rajamma Vavathil

I was lucky as I was first among the few who took the newborn baby in my hands. He was so cute. I was witness to his birth. I was thrilled... we all were thrilled to see the grandson of prime minister Indira Gandhi, Vavathil told PTI over phone from Wayanad.

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Forty-nine years later, the "cute baby" is Congress president and a contestant from Wayanad. And Vavathil, who now describes herself as "nearly a housewife", said she couldn't be happier.

She remembers the day well.

Rahul Gandhi's father Rajiv Gandhi and uncle Sanjay Gandhi were waiting outside the labour room of the hospital when Sonia Gandhi was taken for delivery, Vavathil recounted.

It's a story she has often told her family.

The retired nurse said she is saddened by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy's complaint questioning the Congress president's citizenship status.

According to Vavathil, no one can question Rahul Gandhi's identity as an Indian citizen and Swamy's complaint about his citizenship is baseless .

All records about Rahul Gandhi's birth would be there at the hospital, she said.

Vavathil, who completed her nursing course from Delhi's Holy Family Hospital, later joined the Indian military as a nurse.

A Wayanad voter is a retired nurse who witnessed Rahul's birth; says he was "cute baby"

After taking VRS from service, she returned to Kerala in 1987 and is now settled in Kalloor near Sulthan Bathery.

Vavathil expressed the hope that she would be able to meet Rahul Gandhi when he visits Wayanad next time.

Wayanad, which came into national prominence after Congress chief's Rahul Gandhi's candidature, registered record polling of 80.31 per cent in the polls held on April 23.

The votes will be counted on May 23.

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