In his reply to the notice issued by the Ethics Committee headed by BJP patriarch LK Advani, the Congress vice president also said the complainant has "wantonly misled" on the issue.

"I am surprised that the committee of ethics has chosen to take cognizance of a complaint that is not in order. This is an endeavour to malign my good name. I have never at any stage sought or acquired British citizenship. My identity is that of an Indian," Gandhi said in his reply to the panel secretariat on March 23.

According to sources close to the development, Gandhi demanded that the complainant produce evidence to substantiate his allegation and file an affidavit in support of his contention.

"The documents on which he relies in support of his contention nowhere mention that I have ever declared myself as a British citizen," he said, alleging it is evident that the complainant has "wantonly misled".

Noting that citizenship is a matter of fact, he said whether he ever sought or acquired British citizenship would be part of the official documents with the British Home Office. "This fact could have been ascertained from the source before pressing the complaint," he said.

"I urge Mr Swamy for placing on record any proof of Rahul Gandhi being a British citizen by disclosing his alleged British passport number and relevant documents," Gandhi was quoted by sources to have said in his response to the notice.

The Congress leader was issued a notice in the second week of March by Advani-led panel seeking his response to allegations that he declared himself a British citizen to occupy the post of the Director of a company there.

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