New Delhi: An old letter is making new headlines, this time on allegations of forgery.
Among the 65 Members of Parliament or MPs, who had reportedly signed the letter addressed to the United States President Barack Obama urging him to continue the visa ban on Narendra Modi, a few have now backtracked, saying they never signed any such letter with some even alleging that their signatures have been forged.
The Nationalist Congress Party or NCP's chief whip and Lok Sabha MP Sanjeev Naik told NDTV, "It's hundred per cent forgery. I'm shocked that something like this can happen. Besides, I'm a Lok Sabha MP and my name is in the Rajya Sabha list."
Echoing his sentiments was the DMK's Dr Ramalingam. "This amounts to forgery. I haven't signed any such letter."
Sitaram Yechury was the first to contest the veracity of his signature. The Left leader says he actually signed a completely different letter in support of the Muslim youths falsely implicated in terror cases. A letter, he says, that was addressed to the President of India, not the American President.
Other MPs to deny signing the controversial letter are Vandana Chavan, Marutrao Kowase and ET Mohd Basheer. Congress's V Hanumanta Rao says he signed after reading parts of the letter though he claims he didn't know it had any reference to Modi's visa ban.
But the man behind the letter, independent MP Mohammad Adeeb, stands by his statement. "Anyone found guilty of cheating colleagues should be punished and removed from Parliament," he said. (Read letters)
Other signatories like Ali Anwar, Shantaram Naik and Asaduddin Owaisi, however, acknowledge that they have signed such a letter.
Meanwhile, the BJP's Sudarshan Bhagat has already sent a complaint to the Speaker. Other parties are expected to follow suit.
Party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the letter seeks "a third umpire in the USA" for a political match at home which is being lost by Mr Modi's opponents.
As the row rages on, the letter seems to have morphed into a letter bomb that's likely to explode in the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament, beginning August 5.