The BJP yesterday claimed that UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee’s letter quitting as chairperson of the Kolkata-based Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) was “fabricated”.

“It is unfortunate that people contesting for such high office are indulging in such kind of activities,” said Ananth Kumar, general secretary, BJP.

Kumar was addressing a press conference hours after Mukherjee’s candidature was accepted. Contesting against him is former speaker PA Sangma, being backed by the BJP, AIADMK and the Biju Janata Dal.

A controversy was raked up on Monday when Sangma’s team demanded rejection of Mukherjee’s nomination, alleging that he was holding an office of profit as chairman of the ISI. The institute later issued a statement that Mukherjee had resigned on June 20. Mukherjee had filed his nomination eight days later.

Sangma’s lawyer Satpal Jain accused Mukherjee of remaining “silent” on when he submitted the resignation letter. “He has not mentioned when he gave it (resignation letter). He is silent on it,” Jain said.