Among them are Jaipal, Pallam Raju, Purandeswari

In a shocking case of forgery, a candidate for the vice-presidential election held earlier this year allegedly faked the signatures of as many as 40 MPs from Andhra Pradesh constituencies, including Union Ministers, showing them as having supported his nomination.

Among those whose signatures were forged are Minister for Science and Technology S. Jaipal Reddy, Human Resource Development Minister M.M. Pallam Raju, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Daggubati Purandeswari and Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Panabaka Lakshmi.

The matter came to light when the MPs were contacted by the election office to cross-check whether they had extended support to Narendranath Dubey Ajig, said to be a resident of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, for the August election. Expressing surprise, the MPs said they did not even know the person.

“We then approached the Lok Sabha Secretary-General and the election officer to apprise them of what had transpired. Signatures of 40 MPs from Andhra Pradesh had been forged ….,” Ponnam Prabhakar, Congress MP from Karimnagar, said in a telephonic conversation with The Hindu.

The MPs were advised to report the matter to the police for effective action against those involved in the forgery.

“As convener of the Andhra Pradesh Congress MPs’ Forum, I lodged a formal complaint with the Delhi Police Commissioner,” said Mr. Prabhakar, adding the members whose signatures were forged belong to the Congress, the Telugu Desam Party and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi. The Karimnagar MP said the suspect counterfeited signatures of all the MPs according to the alphabetical order of the constituencies they represent.

“From the enclosures, it can be seen that my name was mentioned at serial no 320. I am surprised to see that it is not my signature and I have not supported the above said person at any point of time. When I enquired from other MPs belonging to Andhra Pradesh whose signatures are [also] there, they denied that those were their signatures. It is clear that all the signatures were forged with mala fide intentions,” said Mr. Prabhakar in his complaint, with which he enclosed a photocopy of the five-page nomination papers filed by Mr. Ajig on July 16.

The Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police registered an FIR on Thursday based on his complaint.