Questions on Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s citizenship and educational qualifications resurfaced on Saturday prompting the Amethi Returning Officer to defer the scrutiny of his nomination papers from the seat till April 22, giving the BJP a handle to hit out at him as it asked him to come clean on the issue.

An independent candidate fighting from Amethi has raised doubts over Rahul’s Indian citizenship, leveled allegations of non-disclosure of assets and properties of the UK company whose documents show him as a British citizen and non-matching of documents related to his educational qualifications. The issues had earlier too cropped up and the BJP has had targeted him then also. Citing the complaint filed with returning officer of Amethi against Congress president, the BJP also raised questions on Rahul’s citizenship and educational qualification, and asked him to come clean on the matter. The returning officer (RO) has fixed Monday as the next date of hearing on the matter.

BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao told reporters it was “stunning” that Rahul’s lawyer sought time to reply to the objections.

“These are serious allegations. Is Rahul Gandhi an Indian citizen or not? Did he ever become a British citizen? He should come out with the real story,” he said.

Election Commission sources said the returning officer is the final authority on such a matter, but he cannot check the veracity of whatever is written on an election affidavit.

“If someone approaches an RO raising objections, he must hear the affected party. If anyone has any objection to whatever is recorded in an affidavit, the person should approach court. The EC has no role in any objection made to election affidavit,” they said.

Rao claimed that a British company, in which Rahul had said in 2004 that he made investment, in its submission to the authorities there stated that Rahul was a British citizen.

Under Indian law, one ceases to be a citizen of the country if he gets citizenship of any country, he said and asked the Congress president to answer the questions raised in the complaint. If the British company made a false statement, then did Rahul act against it, he asked.

Referring to the complaint, the BJP spokesperson said there are “discrepancies and attempts to suppress facts” in Rahul’s affidavits filed during different elections from 2004 to 2014.

The Congress chief had said that he did M Phil in development economics from Cambridge University, but later claimed it was in development studies, Rao alleged.

The BJP spokesman said inquiries show that one Raul Vincy and not Rahul Gandhi got the degree in that particular year.

“We will like to know if Rahul Gandhi goes by multiple names in different countries,” Rao said. He also wondered if the Gandhi scion’s qualification was like Congress manifestoes that change every five years.