Fake letter shared as Chandrababu Naidu promising to abolish Muslim reservation in Andhra

By: Rohith Gutta
May 12 2024

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Fake letter shared as Chandrababu Naidu promising to abolish Muslim reservation in Andhra

Screenshot of the social media post claiming that TDP Chief, N Chandrababu Naidu, wrote an open letter promising abolition of Muslim reservations in Andhra Pradesh once elected to power (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Fake

The Telugu Desam Party leader and former chief minister has, in fact, promised to protect the four percent reservation for Muslims in Andhra Pradesh.

Claim ID df2e54ba

What is the claim?

As the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh heads to the Assembly election and Lok Sabha polls on May 13, an open letter attributed to the leader of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is being shared on social media platforms. 

The posts purport that the TDP and its leader, Naidu, have promised to abolish reservation for Muslims when elected to power in the state. One user shared the letter with the caption, “Telugu Desam statement on abolishing Muslim reservations. I request Muslim brothers to share this in every minority group. If we vote for Telugu Desam, we will lose our rights.” Archived versions of social media posts sharing the purported letter by Naidu can be accessed here, here, and here

Screenshots of the viral social media post (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

The purported open letter purportedly by Naidu, dated May 10, says, “Congress provided five percent Muslim reservations in 2004. We went to the court and got it quashed in the High Court. But, by reducing it to four percent Congress once again provided reservation. TDP has always opposed religious reservations. Muslim reservations are unconstitutional. We support our alliance partner- BJP’s- demand to scrap Muslim reservations. I promise that once our alliance is voted to power we will abolish Muslim reservations within 100 days. The party cadre and leaders should follow this decision without fail.” 

Andhra Pradesh currently provides four percent reservation to Muslims in government employment and educational institutions, a provision introduced by the Congress government in 2007. However, Naidu wrote no such letter and the viral document has been fabricated. 

What are the facts?

The TDP has formed an alliance with the Jana Sena Party (JSP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), which currently holds power in the state.

It is true that Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah has made recent comments saying that the Muslim reservation in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana, states in the southern part of India, will be abolished if the BJP is voted to power. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also opposed reservation for Muslims on the basis of religion.

However, Naidu has repeatedly said he will protect the four percent reservation for the Muslims in Andhra Pradesh during election campaigning. In fact, he has even come under attack for this promise by YSRCP leader and state Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who asked, “How can Naidu promise to continue this reservation while being in the NDA alliance, which wants to remove reservations for the minorities?”

What did we find?

We found no credible reports about Naidu penning such an open letter. We also found that no such letter had been posted on the social media accounts of either Naidu or TDP. 

Further, we found no letter released on the date on the viral letter, 10 May, either by Naidu or TDP. 

The discrepancies in the viral letter

We then compared the viral letter with an official letter from the TDP and identified several discrepancies.  

The font

First, the font of the address section on the top right of the letter and the name of the party on the top left differs from that seen on the official letter. Similarly, the space between the last line in the address section and the line break is different in both letters. 

Comparison between the viral letterhead and the official letterhead (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

The flag

Next, we noted that the yellow flag of the TDP is slightly tilted on the official letterhead, while that on the viral letter is straight. Further, the color of the wheel in the flag in the viral letter is yellow, while that on the official letter is white. 

While the party flag used to have a yellow wheel, recent letters issued by the party show the wheel with white filling.

Moreover, the thread holding the flag in the viral letter cuts through the middle of the first letter on the scroll beneath the flag, whereas in the official letterhead, it cuts through the first and second letters. 

In relation to the above, the first letter of the word ‘Telugu Desam’ in Telugu underneath the flag is placed closer to one end of the scroll, as compared to the viral letter. The orientation and spacing of the letters in the flags are also different in the genuine and viral documents. 

Comparison between the viral letterhead and the official letterhead. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

Further, we noted that the viral letterhead does not provide any contact details at the end of the page. This is in contrast to all the genuine letters we reviewed, which provide some form of contact information for the party head office or a party leader. 

These discrepancies indicate that the viral letter is likely a fabrication.

TDP issues clarification

Additionally, we found that the TDP stated in a post (archive hereon X (formerly Twitter) on May 11 that this letter is fake.

The caption of the post suggested that the letter showed that YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, the chief minister of the state, “is unable to bear the fact that the Muslim brothers are supporting the alliance” and was “trying to divert their attention with such fake news.” 

Screenshot of the clarification posted by TDP on X (Source: X/Telugu Desam Party) 

Logically Facts has previously debunked such fake open letters allegedly written by Naidu. They can be read here and here. Logically Facts has also debunked claims that the chief of the Andhra Pradesh unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that her party and its allies would not let four percent of seats in the education and public employment sector be reserved for Muslims. 

The verdict

A fake open letter attributed falsely to TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu is being shared to claim that the TDP has promised to end reservation for Muslims in Andhra Pradesh once elected to power. However, the purported letter is fabricated, and Naidu wrote no such letter. 

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