Born in Nepal, MLA in Bihar: LJP MLA may lose membership

Updated on May 19, 2007 01:27 AM IST
Nagina Devi now faces a queer situation of losing her membership of Bihar Assembly, after a Govt report found her to be a Nepalese citizen, reports Vijay Swaroop.
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None | By, Patna

Born in Nepal, MLA from Bihar! That’s the Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) MLA from Bathnaha in Sitamarhi district, Nagina Devi, for you. She now faces a queer situation of losing her membership of Bihar Assembly, after a Union Home Ministry report found her to be a Nepalese citizen.

The defeated JD (U) candidate Rajkishore Singh Kushwaha in Patna High Court challenged her election to the Assembly in 2005. The High Court had directed Sitamarhi district magistrate and the Union home ministry to verify the veracity of the complaint. The LJP has a strength of 10 MLAs in Bihar Assembly.

“We would be sending the report to the Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar in a day or two with all relevant documents for necessary action as the Home Ministry after holding an inquiry into the complaint against Nagina Devi has found her to be a Nepalese citizen and thus ineligible to hold the membership of the Bihar Assembly,” the District Magistrate, Suman Kumar told Hindustan Times over phone.

According to the DM, Nagina Devi never applied for Indian citizenship. The Chief Electoral Officer, Sudhir Rakesh said that all legal action would be taken against the MLA once the report comes. The matter will be referred to Election Commission,” he said.

The home minister in its observation submitted to the district magistrate on May 15, held that under Section 5 of the Indian Citizenship Act, just being married to an Indian national does not naturally qualify one to become a citizen of India.

Earlier, the DM had informed the Union Home Ministry about the findings through a letter dated March 21, 2007. The Ministry of Home Affairs too conducted an independent probe and found those to be true.

Devi was born to Nepalese parents of Madanpur village in Sarlahi district of the neighbouring country. She is married to Yogiraj Prasad of Posua-Patania village in Bathnaha assembly constituency in Sitamarhi district.

As per the Indian Citizenship Act, children born to Indian parents automatically became Indian citizens, but since the LJP MLA’s parents were Nepalese, despite her marriage to an Indian, she was required to apply for this country's citizenship.

The LJP MLA, in reply to an explanation sought by the DM, accepted that she had never tried to obtain Indian citizenship due to ignorance.

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    Vijay is chief of bureau, Patna. He has spent 21 years in journalism and covers political beats and public affairs.

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