Assam politicians ask Subba to quit over citizenship row

April 29th, 2008 - 2:12 pm ICT by admin  

By Syed Zarir Hussain
Guwahati, April 29 (IANS) Politicians in Assam cutting across party lines demanded controversial Congress MP from the state Mani Kumar Subba step down after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) questioned his Indian citizenship in an affidavit filed in the Supreme 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,” Assam Education Minister and senior ruling Congress leader Ripun Bora told IANS.

A bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justices R.V. Raveendran and M.K. Sharma observed Monday: “The report is against you. The birth certificate produced is not genuine.”

The apex court made these observations after the CBI investigating the antecedents of Subba submitted a report to the court saying the birth certificates produced by the Lok Sabha MP from Assam’s Tezpur seat while filing his nominations during the 1998 general elections were not genuine.

The Supreme Court has given six weeks to Subba to reply. He is unperturbed over the controversy. “I will reply to the Supreme Court,” he told journalists.

The CBI was investigating the case following a public interest petition filed by Birendra Nath Singh, a resident of Noida, who alleged Subba was a Nepalese citizen and was a murder convict in Nepal.

During the 12th Lok Sabha elections, Subba in his nomination papers recorded his place of birth as Tezpur, Assam, his date of birth as March 16, 1951. But his dossier during the the current 14th Lok Sabha Subba shows his place of birth as Dabgram (Darjeeling district) in West Bengal, and the date of birth as March 16, 1958.

The discrepancies in his date of birth and place of birth while filing his nominations are issues that has created doubts over Subba’s antecedents.

“The Congress party would not shield or 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.

Opposition parties have launched a tirade against the Congress after the Supreme Court observation on Subba’s citizenship issue.

“It is a shame that the Congress party is being represented by a foreigner. Subba should be arrested and deported to Nepal immediately,” said Dilip Saikia, general secretary of the opposition Asom Gana Parishad.

There are reports in the media alleging Subba was a murder convict in Nepal, and he was imprisoned 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.

He joined politics in 1983 during the height of the Assam movement and became a member of the Congress party. He got elected for the first time as a legislator from Naobaicha in Lakhimpur distrct in 1991. In 1996, he at first lost the assembly elections from Naobaciha but was declared as having won after recounting of votes. Subba won the parliamentary elections for the first time from the Tezpur seat in 1998 and became a member of the 12th Lok Sabha.

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