VIDEO EDITOR: PURNENDU PRITAM
As the final result of the 2020 Bihar Assembly election inches closer, a letter endorsing Union Minister Giriraj Singh as the next chief minister of Bihar and purportedly signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is doing the rounds on social media.
However, The Quint found several discrepancies including some grammatical and stylistic errors in the letter.
The letter purportedly addressed to the President of the Bharatiya Janata Party, JP Nadda, by PM Modi reads: “Let me begin by congratulating you and your team for your effective and precious contribution in promotion of Bharatiya Janata Party Bihar Election campaign 2020. I am happy to inform you that Bharatiya Janata Party is the only party who follow democratic norms, my vote for Shri Giriraj Singh as Chief Minister Bihar out of three candidates. Shri Giriraj Singh contribution to accomplish the mile stone of Ram Mandir is extra ordinary and commendable. I wish you and your team the very best for your future West Bengal election 2021 and once again congratulate you to uplift the Bharatiya Janata Party flag.” (sic)
WHAT WE FOUND
A simple look at the letter shows some glaring grammatical and stylistic errors. Also, the signature of Prime Minister Modi in the viral letter does not match with his signature in authentic letters available in the public domain.
GRAMMATICAL ERRORS IN VIRAL LETTER
First, let’s look at the grammatical errors in the letter which includes mistakes like a missing apostrophe after Party in the second line (Bharatiya Janata Party’s Bihar Election campaign), usage of ‘who’ instead of ‘which’ in the third line and wrong spellings of ‘milestone’ and ‘extraordinary’.
SIGNATURE MISMATCH IN VIRAL LETTER
Next, we compared the signature of the prime minister in the viral letter with that in a letter he wrote to an 11-year-old in Haryana. We found a slight difference between the two as there were extra curves in the letter ‘N’ and the loop around it.
STYLISTIC ERRORS IN VIRAL LETTER
We also observed stylistic errors in the letter such as a missing comma after JP Nadda’s name which existed in a letter the prime minister addressed to former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni.
Similarly, the date format also differed between the two letters. Both these features were consistent between the letters addressed to MS Dhoni and the 11-year-old Haryana student.
Further, we did not find any relevant news reports which corroborated the claim made in the letter, which is very unlikely at the time of elections.
As illustrated, a fake letter was circulated ahead of the counting day in the Bihar assembly election.
Moreover, this is not the first time that a fake letter attributed to Prime Minister Modi went viral on the internet. The Quint had earlier debunked a similar letter which claimed that the PM wrote a congratulatory message to the Chief Justice of India after the Ayodhya verdict in 2019.