Nepal Oppn MP, Who Heads UP College's Management, Denies Being Indian Citizen
Devendra Raj Kandel said that despite being a Nepali lawmaker, he could head the college's management committee on the basis of Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950.
File photo of Nepal MP Devendra Raj Kandel.
Kathmandu: A Nepali Congress lawmaker, who heads the management of a college in Uttar Pradesh, on Thursday dismissed a media report claiming him to be an Indian citizen.
Devendra Raj Kandel, a former minister of state and lawmaker of the main Opposition Nepali Congress, said the education institution named after his grandmother Radha Kumari was established in Gorakhpur, some 200m from the Nepal-India border, in 1950 during the Rana dynasty which ruled the Kingdom of Nepal until 1951.
He said his grandmother set up the school in India because the then regime did not allow its establishment in Nepal. The school, which got approval from the Indian government in January, 1952, has been upgraded to Radha Kumari Inter College.
"Ever since the establishment of the college, it has been under the patronage of my family. First my grandmother was its patron, then my father Prithvi Raj Kandel and now I am its patron. How can I be labelled an Indian citizen just because I head the college's management?" Kandel said.
The Nepali Congress lawmaker said he did not own an inch of land and stayed at his friend's place whenever he visited Gorakhpur for taking the oath as the college management committee's head.
Kandel said his permanent address is Maheshpur, Nawalparasi in western Nepal and also showed its proof at the press meet.
Producing court documents, Kandel said his rival in the management committee election had filed a case at the Allahabad High Court, stating that Kandel was a Nepali national and that he could not head the college's management committee.
"In my reply to the court, I have accepted that I am a Nepali citizen, a Nepali lawmaker and former state minister of Nepal. I have also stated that I can still head the college's management committee on the basis of Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950, whereby a Nepali citizen can run a social organisation in India.
"I am surprised that people in Nepal are trying to prove me as an Indian at a time when I am fighting a court case in India in which my rivals want to prove me a Nepali citizen, which I have accepted," he said.
Kandel said he was ready to face action if his name was found registered in any electoral roll in India. Reiterating that he did not have Indian citizenship, the lawmaker said that he had acquired an Indian driving licence when he was studying in India.
Kandel said that any Nepali could acquire a driving licence in India and that did not prove that he was an Indian citizen. He claimed that the then Maoist rebels during the insurgency had fired 16 gunshots at him when he was the state home minister in 2002 and one bullet in still in his chest.
"It is disappointing that I, a member of a family having long history of service to the nation, have been dragged into a controversy on the basis of false information," Kandel added.
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