Sonia Gandhi and her ancestry has become a topic of conversation among netizens after Republic founder Arnab Goswami decided to question her silence on the Palghar Sadhu lynchings, calling her "Italy’s Antonia Maino".
Since then, matters have escalated, with Goswami alleging early on Thursday that Congress workers had attacked him as he was returning home from his office.
BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy on Thursday took to Twitter to comment on Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi's Italian roots. After a Twitter user posted an image, purportedly from the Ministry of Home Affairs to underline that Gandhi had signed her name as Antonio Maino on a Citizenship Certificate, Swamy commented on the same.
Swamy said that an officier of the MHA was on file as having objected to the same "since she refused to file her Italian citizenship renouncing certificate".
"Indira orally intervened and waived the mandatory requirement!! During the Vajpayee govt it was waived in writing on file.We can re-open it," he added.
This is not the only comment he made on the topic. When another user asked Swamy "who was the first to publicly refer to Sonia Gandhi as Antinia Maino?" the BJP MP provided further details.
"As far as I remember, it arose as a question about where TDK was born. In Parliament Who's Who she has recorded it as Orbassano. Her birth records it is Antonia +++ born at Lusiana [on Swiss border]. It was a Rest& Recuperation Centre for Hitler's army till 1945 (sic)," he explained.
Sonia Gandhi was born in 1946 with the name Edvige Antonia Albina Maino. Her father incidentally had been a staunch supporter of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, and had even fought against the Soviet military alongside Hitler’s army.
She was however born after the second World War ended.
Swamy also retweeted a letter shared by another Twitter user, purportedly sent by Swamy to the then President, APJ Abdul Kalam. In the letter, Swamy stated that Sonia Gandhi was ineligible when it came to "staking a claim to be appointed by you as Prime Minister under Article 75 of the Constitution.
In the letter Swamy points out that "she is subject to the proviso under Section 5 of the Citizenship Act, a reciprocal ddisqualification to be the PM of the country since she is Italian".