The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Subba unfazed by apex court glare

Guwahati, Jan. 20: A day after the Supreme Court asked Mani Kumar Subba to prove his Indian nationality, the controversial MP from Tezpur today exuded confidence that he would emerge “unscathed” through the legal acid test.

Satyameva jayate,” was Subba’s cryptic reply to the court directive when The Telegraph contacted him on the cellphone of a close aide at Tezpur.

Subba also wondered how he could have contested and won elections continuously since 1998 if he was a “foreigner”. “Main agar Indian citizen nahin hoon to election keisa lara'Election mein to sirf Indian citizens contest karte hain,” he said.

Subba has been in his constituency since yesterday. He claimed that he came to know about the court directive only after reading newspapers this morning. He also promised to reply well ahead of the court deadline of six weeks and said he would prove his “innocence” this time as well, as he had done in the past.

“This is nothing new. In the past, too, I had successfully defended myself against similar charges in the high court and this time, too, I am confident of winning the legal battle. I have tremendous faith in our legal system,” he added.

Subba disclosed that he would travel to New Delhi within a couple of days and “consult my lawyer to decide on my future course of action”.

Subba is alleged to be a resident of Nepal with a permanent address at Ekhabo Panchayat, Ward No. 8, Taplezum District, Mechi Anchal, Nepal.

The Assam Congress today maintained a studied silence on the entire issue, more so as Subba has very few friends within the state unit.

Chief party spokesman Haren Das, who is otherwise known for his anti-Subba stand, skirted the issue, saying it was a legal matter and would be settled in court.

“The party has no comment to offer, because this is a legal issue and the law will take its own course,” Das said.

Significantly, the apex court’s directive to Subba has come as a moral victory for former Assam chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta. It was on the basis of his complaint that the Union home ministry had directed the CBI to investigate the MP’s antecedents in 1997.

Mahanta was, however, tightlipped today about the Supreme Court directive, stating that he would not like to comment on a matter that was sub judice.

AGP president Brindaban Goswami, too, pointed out today that his party had raised doubts about Subba’s Indian citizenship on many occasions over the past few years. He welcomed the Supreme Court’s directive and demanded that both the government and the Congress make their stand clear on this issue.

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