Arun Yadav

Fact Check: Fake letters flood social media in poll-bound MP

Fact Check

Get Connected!

A letter allegedly written by Congress candidate Arun Yadav, from Budhni assembly seat, in Sehore district is being widely shared on the WhatsApp groups.

With just two days left for polling in Madhya Pradesh, a series of letters claiming “leaks” of internal communications among political parties are circulating on social media.

One such letter allegedly written by Congress candidate Arun Yadav, from Budhni assembly seat, in Sehore district is being widely shared on WhatsApp groups.

According to the letter, Yadav is unhappy after not being allowed to contest from his home seat. Yadav is locked in a pitched electoral battle against Madhya Pradesh’s three-time Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. In the letter, he is criticising MP Congress chief Kamal Nath over ticket distribution. The letter also mentions, “Being a Congress candidate he is facing wrath of people.”

India Today Fact Check found the letter to be fake. There are evidences in the letter which indicates that the letter is fake.

There are several glaring mistakes in the letter. The name of the person to whom the letter is addressed is written on the top, generally. Whereas, in this case, the name of the person writing the letter is on the top while the receiver’s name is at the end.

Secondly, the official address of Congress president Rahul Gandhi according to the Lok Sabha website is 12, Tughlak Lane in New Delhi. In the letter two different addresses namely 10 Janpath and Motilal Nehru Marg are mentioned. Errors like these in official letters of political parties are possible, but not when written by a two time Lok Sabha MP and former state congress president to the party president.

MP Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi told India Today, “The letter is fake. The signature in the viral letter does not match with those of Yadav.”

He has sent us a copy of the letter that Yadav wrote to the Election Commission earlier with his signature. We found the signature is not matching.

Chaturvedi shared with us what he claimed as the official record book of MP Congress unit. It shows the letter with dispatch number 1143/18 was not addressed to the Congress president on November 21. According to his record book, the letter was sent to a person named Santosh Kumar Pandey on August 17. As per Chaturvedi, “Pandey was appointed as the working president of Annupur district.”

Arun Yadav has also tweeted about the “fake letter” and his party has filed a police complaint.

Another letter going viral in Madhya Pradesh, allegedly written by RSS is addressed to Madhya Pradesh BJP chief Rakesh Singh. This letter talks about a “secret survey” undertaken by RSS from November 15-21, 2018, which says BJP is heading for a defeat in the state. According to this survey mentioned in the letter, Congress is strong in 142 seats while BJP is likely to win only 68 seats. The letter also expresses doubts over any impact of Modi and Shah’s campaign on the voters. The letter is signed by one Pramod Namdev whose designation is mentioned as head of “Survey and Janmat” ( Survey evang janmat).

When we checked the website of RSS, we did not find any such designation called “head of survey and janmat”. Few old news reports of 2017 about RSS survey on Gujarat elections are available on the internet but they are mostly based on sources and no concrete evidence of RSS survey is given.

RSS media wing Vishwa Samvad Kendra has issued a statement calling this letter “fake”. It further stated that this has been “circulated mischievously to create confusion for political gains”.

RSS spokesperson Ajay Narang reiterated the same. While speaking to India Today he said, “RSS never conducts any political surveys. Moreover, we do not have any ‘survey’ wing as mentioned in the letter.”

Media in-charge of BJP Madhya Pradesh, Lokendra Parasar claimed that the party has filed a complaint in this regard with the election commission. But at the time of filing this report we have not received the complaint copy, even after our repeated requests.

It is possible that RSS has conducted some confidential internal survey about Madhya Pradesh election, but we could not verify independently the authenticity of this particular letter.

Leave a Reply