Kochi/Kerala: 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.
“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 said.
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. 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.
Recently the Supreme Court agreed to hear a plea to direct the Election Commission of India (ECI) to debar Congress president Rahul Gandhi from contesting the Lok Sabha polls ” after he had allegedly acquired British nationality voluntarily.
A Bench, led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, in response to a petition , said the court should command the government to decide the question of voluntary acquisition of British citizenship by Mr. Gandhi and consequently determine his Indian citizenship. It wanted the court to decide whether a person who has voluntarily acquired British citizenship should be allowed to contest from Amethi and Wayanad in the Parliamentary elections held.