Did not write to Advani; probe please, Joshi urges EC

Did not write to Advani; probe please, Joshi urges EC

Veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi

While enforcement agencies are grappling with the menace of fake news on social media in poll season, the latest victims are sidelined members of BJP’s Margdarshak Mandal — L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.

A letter in the name of Joshi was circulating on social media for the last few days, quoting the veteran as having written that the BJP will not be able to win even 120 seats in the 2019 general elections and that the party could barely get eight to ten seats out of 91 seats that went to polls in the first phase.

On Monday, Joshi in his missive to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said, “My friends in media called me up and told me that since yesterday a letter addressed by me to L K Advani Ji has been circulated on social media. I have read the contents of it and I am attaching them with this letter. I have not sent any such letter to Advani Ji. Kindly, immediately get it thoroughly probed and find the source of the letter, through which it came to social media.”

In the communication to the EC, Joshi also hoped for quick action.

News agency ANI, whose watermark was embossed on the earlier letter, has already denied its role.

Joshi’s office confirmed to DH that the veteran had, indeed, written to the EC.

Interestingly, the earlier letter on Joshi’s letterhead and addressed to Advani on April 12, had also quoted Joshi as having apprehended “situations may not allow me to stick to this letter”.

Fake buzz

There was also a buzz on social media that both Advani and Joshi could address a press conference on Monday. This also turned out to be fake.

Both Joshi (85) and Advani (91), Lok Sabha MPs from Kanpur and Gandhinagar respectively, are among the founders of the party and have been denied tickets this time on account of age. This time Shah is contesting from Gandhinagar seat in Gujarat, while the BJP has fielded another Brahmin face from Joshi’s Kanpur seat.

Last Monday BJP president Amit Shah met both the sulking elders to mollify them hours after they skipped the party event to release the BJP manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls.

After ticket denial, Joshi wrote an open terse letter to the electorate of Kanpur telling them that the party does not want him to contest elections from Kanpur or anywhere. Advani later wrote a blog - his first in last five years, batting for “defence of democracy and democratic traditions both within the party and in the larger national setting”, terming the party’s Foundation Day on April 6 as an “important occasion for all of us in the BJP to look back, look ahead and look within”.