Modi’s office rubbishes letter, says it will probe, Letter accuses CMO official of fabricating Sanjay Josi CD

EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE,Friday, January 13, 2006      

AHMEDABAD, JANUARY 12 In an unusual development, the Gujarat Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) has rubbished an anonymous letter sent to the media accusing an officer on special duty at the CMO and an ad company run by his brother of fabricating the Sanjay Joshi sex CD. The CMO asks the media to ignore the anonymous letter as it is baseless, and says it will inquire into the origin of the message.

The unsigned letter was faxed to media offices today evening. It says Parag Shah, an officer on special duty at the CMO, and his brother’s firm Brand Aid are instrumental in creating and distributing the Joshi CD.

The letter wrongly gives the Brand Aid owner’s name as Hitesh Shah instead of Hiten Shah. But Hiten is indeed Parag’s brother.

It says the firm is also behind the pamphlets and SMS messages targeting pracharaks of the Sangh Parivar and that it sends bogus threats from terrorist organisations to the chief minister’s office. It says that although Parag Shah is not a government employee, his visiting card bears the government insignia. The card, too, was faxed to media offices.

The response from the Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s office, signed by Pankaj Kumar, additional principal secretary to the chief minister, says: ‘‘Some men with ulterior motives are trying to defame the chief minister and officials working in the CMO. We will inquire into the matter.’’

Brand Aid owner Hiten Shah, who has worked on several publicity campaigns for the government, including on Modi’s website, said: ‘‘I’ve seen the anonymous letter. It has no element of truth. They have even got my name wrong. This is aimed at defaming my company.’’

His brother Parag said: ‘‘I’ve been working in the CMO’s IT department for the past three years, making business presentations, tender presentations. My job is to promote IT, not make CDs maligning someone.’’

He said he had spoken to Modi and had been assured of an inquiry into the matter.
Two days ago, RSS leader M.G. Vaidya had suggested in an article that some ambitious leaders in Gujarat—whom he referred to as Gujarat’s Macbeth and Lady Macbeth—might have had a hand in the Joshi CD.