Bengaluru, Apr 17: In an apparent attempt to mislead and polarize Hindu community on the eve of Apr 18 Lok Sabha polls, Karnataka BJP’s official Twitter handle posted fake letter accusing State Home Minister M B Patil and former Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi of trying to “divide Hindu religion for political gain”.
Shocked over the fake later dating back to 2017, which was in his name, Mr Patil filed a police complaint against the miscreants. "This letter is FAKE. I will be initiating legal action for forgery against those who produced and published it. BJP's desperation is evident. They are wholly relying on fake letters because they have lost the support of people," he tweeted.
This letter is FAKE
I will be initiating legal action for forgery against those who produced and published it.
BJP's desperation is evident. They are wholly relying on fake letters because they have lost the support of people. pic.twitter.com/yrPRHGTVcW
— M B Patil (@MBPatil) April 16, 2019
A picture of the letter was posted on the BJP’s Twitter page after a Kannada daily, run by a BJP leader, carried a full-page feature based on the letter, which is attributed to the BLDE Association (of which Mr. Patil is chairman) to mislead people. The letter had gone viral when Mr. Patil, who was then the Water Resources Minister, was leading the Lingayat religion movement.
The entire Lingayat & Veerashaiva community division was planted under direct instruction of Sonia Gandhi
The letter written to Sonia Gandhi by Congress leader MB Patil exposes shocking details of how Sonia Gandhi wanted to divide Hindu communities in Karnataka pic.twitter.com/ZC6CpQf1fN
— BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) April 16, 2019
After it surfaced again on Tuesday, Mr. Patil held a press conference in Vijayapura and said it was completely fabricated. He told presspersons that the same letter had been circulated on social media in 2017 in an attempt to defame him. “At the time, I did not take the letter seriously because I thought some mischievous elements might have done it. But now, I will not keep quiet as it has become a major source of spreading canards against me. I will file a complaint and get the cybercrime police investigate the matter and find the truth,” he said. “I am not a person who needs religion for my politics. I believe in Lingayatism and those beliefs made me fight for the separate religion [status]. I don’t need to stoop to this cheap level for political gains.”
The Home Minister also said he would not rest until the case had met its logical end. He then visited the Adarsha Nagar police station in Vijayapura and filed a complaint.
The alleged fake letter seeks the permission and blessings of Ms. Gandhi for “dividing Hindus” as Lingayats and Veerashaivas. The letter also states that Mr. Patil had held a meeting with his Cabinet colleagues and contacted Muslims and Christian organisations, seeking their support to win the general elections in 2019.
A copy of this letter was posted first by the web portal Post Card in the run-up to the 2018 Assembly elections. It was subsequently removed, with the portal saying its authenticity could not be verified.