Steve Jarding, political advisor to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, have denied writing an e-mail talking about staging a feud in the Samajwadi Party, that was doing the rounds on social media on Friday.
In a release, the Harvard professor called the apparent fake email a 'slanderous and outrageous' campaign by Akhilesh's political opponents.
The email had shortly surfaced shortly after SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav expelled CM Akhilesh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav from the party on Friday. The mail, which was apparently signed by Steve Jarding, suggested that the Samajwadi family feud was "orchestrated" to "implicate the uncle, consildate Yadav Jr's clean image and project as future leader of the party".
"On the media push front, my two cents are to advise Yadav Sr to orchestrate family feud scenario. Implicate the uncle, consolidate Yadav Jr's clean image and project as future head of the party. This is on priority, so let's talk at 2 pm your time," the email read, a screenshot of which was tweeted by journalist Rahul Kanwal.
However, the professor has now 'categorically denied' writing this email in question.
"The snapshot impersonates me advising Advait (Advait Vikram Singh, who is the deputy of Jarding) to allegedly advise the SP party leadership to pretend that there are differences within the party. It is a slanderous campaign by the political opponents of the CM who clearly feel threatened by his impeccable image," Jarding has said in a statement released to the media.
He said that the opposition leaders are trying to tarnish the image of the UP chief minister. The professor also pointed out that there were grammatical errors in the mail and that it was dated July 24th 2016, while he started working with the UP CM only post mid-August.
Jarding also said that he will take legal action against Kanwal for not "adhering to journalistic standards."
Kanwal told HuffPost India that the screenshot of the mail was sent by someone who has been a student of Jarding at the Harvard University. "Last night the network reached out to Jarding for a response. This morning, Jarding denied having written such a mail. No story on this supposed mail was carried on any India Today Group platform," Kanwal said.
Also see on HuffPost India: