With voting for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls underway, social media has been bombarded with fake news in an attempt to sway the results.
One such claim doing the rounds is a letter purportedly issued by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarkaryavah Bhaiyyaji Joshi.
The letter, addressed to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National General Secretary Ram Lal, expresses concern over the recent Income Tax raids on Opposition leaders in Lucknow, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh.
The same was sent across by a WebQoof reader, to check its veracity.
It was also shared by several individuals on Facebook and Twitter.
In the letter, the RSS allegedly raises its objections to the current spate of I-T raids against leaders of various Opposition parties as this can “prove to be counter-productive” and be seen as being vindictive on part of the ruling dispensation.
It also goes on to claim that several RSS and BJP leaders and aides have been linked to the said raids, which could hurt the Sangh’s reputation.
“The RSS and BJP’s aim is to get re-elected but these kind of raids send across the wrong message to the public... We should also keep in mind recent RSS and independent surveys pointing out that BJP will fall way short of the majority. If we continue like this (raids) then it will be detrimental to both the RSS and the BJP,” the letter said.
The letter doing the rounds is fake. The RSS also confirmed the same on Twitter:
The right-wing organisation said in a statement that the letter being circulated in the name of Bhaiyyaji Joshi has been doctored to mislead the public.
“These kind of fake posts are being circulated on social media by some antisocial elements to gain an edge in the ongoing elections... we condemn the same,” RSS said.
NOT THE FIRST
This is not the first time that a fake letter has been circulated in the name of RSS. A similar claim was made about a purported RSS letter that said that the organisation, in a survey, had found that the BJP would face defeat in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls.
The Quint, back then, had reached out to Lokendra Singh, Karyakari Nideshak (Executive Director) of Vishwa Samvad Kendra (VSK), who had said that he was unable to identify Pramod Namdev, the undersigned in the letter, as an RSS official.