I received the following through email (Thanks Sharath!)… and some of you might have too.
I am reproducing the same (for those that did not) as it does come across as “convincing reasons”:
An excellent analysis (I got it from somewhere) and it really does make some sense and give some convincing reasons for all the ‘Nautanki’ happening:
Did Sonia Gandhi step down from the race to be Prime Minister because her “inner voice” suddenly told her to do so? Why did this “voice” speak now, despite her being elected Congress Parliamentary Party leader and after obtaining letters of support from all allied parties? Apparently, it was not the “inner voice” but certain queries that could have been put to her by the President of India, custodian of the Constitution, which caused her to withdraw her name. Contrary to attempts by Congressmen and Communists to portray her eleventh-hour retreat as a “personal decision” spurred by her children, it could be the clarifications apparently sought by President A P J Abdul Kalam that resulted in the rethink. The President, it is reliably learnt, did not outrightly reject her candidature for the post of the Prime Minister. However, he is believed to have sought certain clarifications on a few points regarding the precise status of her Indian citizenship. That probably explains why Ms Gandhi’s decision to opt out came only after she emerged from the Rashtrapati Bhawan after meeting the President on Tuesday at 12.30 pm. That could also explain why she did not allow the entourage of allied parties to accompany her for the meeting, contrary to custom. He is said to have informally communicated to her on Monday evening that certain queries needed to be answered, even as he invited her to have a discussion on Government formation. The President could have sought three clarifications from Ms Gandhi. This would be a haunting experience for Ms Gandhi.
1) The most damaging clarification that has apparently been sought relates to Article 102 of the Constitution that says: “A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament” on any or more of five possible grounds. Clause(d) of the same Article says “… or is under any acknowledgement of allegiance or adherence to a foreign state”. The term “adherence” had to be clarified specifically as Ms Gandhi in her affidavit before the Returning Officer of the Rai Bareli parliamentary constituency had stated that she owned ancestral property, namely portion of a house, in Orbassano, Italy, the country of her origin. This fact of ownership, legal experts say, makes her subject to Italian law in this matter and could be interpreted as “adherence” to a foreign country. Since this portion of the ancestral property was apparently bequeathed to her by her father in his will, she inherited it only after his death. Consequently, the property was not her’s when she filed her 1999 nomination affidavit.
2) Article 103 states that “if any question arises as to whether a member of either House of Parliament has become subject to disqualification mentioned in Article 102, the question shall be referred for the decision to the President and his decision shall be final”. Clause 2 of the Article says: “Before giving any decision on such question, the President shall obtain the opinion of the Election Commission and shall act according to such opinion.” This means that the President is required by the Constitution to undertake an elaborate process of examining the legal and constitutional issues Ms Gandhi’s swearing-in could not happen before the matter was fully clarified and resolved.
3) Another point that came in the way of Ms Gandhi was Section 5 of the Citizenship Act. Under this, there is a reciprocity provision whereby citizenship granted by India to persons of foreign origin is circumscribed by the rights that particular country confers upon foreigners seeking citizenship there. The crux of this provision of “reciprocity” is that a person of foreign origin, who has acquired the citizenship of India through registration by virtue of marrying an Indian national, cannot enjoy more rights (like becoming Prime Minister), if the same opportunity is not available to an Indian-born citizen in that particular country.
4) While it is not known whether the President mentioned this, legal luminaries pointed out there could be a further lacuna over the issue of her surrendering Italian citizenship. It is believed that while acquiring citizenship through registration in 1983, she surrendered her Italian passport to the Italian Ambassador in New Delhi but did not obtain a formal notification from the Italian Government that her citizenship of that country had been cancelled. This might be only a technicality that could be rectified in a few days, but it would have certainly helped the BJP raise the pitch of the campaign once the citizenship issue returned to the fore. Another petition submitted to the President on Tuesday by Sushma Swaraj pointed out that as the Supreme Commander of India’s Armed Forces, the President should examine a key issue. It referred to the fact that a Defence or Indian Foreign Service official cannot even marry a foreign national without permission, or must quit his post. How could a person of foreign origin be handed over the nuclear button in such circumstances.
Like I said.. It MIGHT indeed be a candidate for conspiracy theory… But it does sound plausible!