I am 101 percent Indian: Mani Kumar Subba (Interview)

May 1st, 2008 - 1:53 pm ICT by admin  

By Syed Zarir Hussain
Guwahati, May 1 (IANS) Controversial Congress MP from Assam, Mani Kumar Subba, locked in a row over his citizenship, insists that he is an Indian by birth. “I am 101 percent Indian. I am going to prove this and come out clean on the issue,” the Lok Sabha MP from Assam’s Tezpur parliamentary constituency told IANS.

Subba is in the eye of a storm after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) submitted to the Supreme Court that the MP’s birth certificates were not genuine.

The apex court bench comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and judges R.V. Raveendran and M.K. Sharma asked Subba to respond after the court reopens after summer vacation in about six weeks from now.

“The court did not say anything in the order and only asked me to respond and I shall do the same accordingly,” Subba said.

The CBI was investigating the case following a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Birendra Nath Singh, a resident of Noida, who alleged that Subba was a Nepalese citizen and was convicted of murder in Nepal.

In the 12th Lok Sabha elections in 1998, Subba in his nomination papers recorded his place of birth as Tezpur, Assam, and his date of birth as March 16, 1951.

But his dossier during the 14th Lok Sabha shows his place of birth as Dabgram (Darjeeling) 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.

“All these things are already corrected and there are no anomalies in my records. I was born in Dabgram in 1958 and have been staying in Assam since 1962 after my father shifted to the state,” Subba said.

Some media reports have alleged that Subba alias Mani Raj Limbo was a murder convict in Nepal and was imprisoned from 1971 to 1973 before he escaped to India.

“Mani Raj Limbo is still alive and in Nepal. The Supreme Court of Nepal in its verdict said Limbo was in jail in Nepal till 1982 and so how can Limbo and Subba be the same person… These are all concocted stories in the media,” Subba said.

“If I am Limbo, then the Nepal government would have easily arrested me by taking the help of the Indian government.”

He said the controversy over his nationality always resurfaces before general elections.

“I don’t want controversies, but then people inimical to me try and drag me into such controversies although these things are indirectly helping me to win elections after elections… If I am a Nepali citizen, then why would the people of Tezpur, who are culturally and intellectually rich, vote me to power for three consecutive terms?” Subba said.

But already protests have begun. Several Congress leaders, including Assam Education Minister Ripun Bora, have called for Subba’s resignation. Effigies of the MP were also burnt in several places.

Subba 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 lost the assembly elections from Naobaciha but was declared the winner after recounting of votes. Subba won the parliamentary elections for the first time from Tezpur in 1998 and became a member of the 12th Lok Sabha.

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