Margaret Alva, the Opposition’s candidate for the post of India’s vice-president, on Monday claimed that her phone calls were being diverted, hours after she had reached out to leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party to seek support for the upcoming elections.

“After speaking to some friends in the BJP today, all calls to my mobile are being diverted and I’m unable to make or receive calls,” Alva wrote in a tweet addressed to service provider Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited. “If you [MTNL] restore the phone. I promise not to call any MP from the BJP, TMC [Trinamool Congress] or BJD [Biju Janata Dal] tonight.”

The Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, or BSNL, under the Ministry of Communications.

On July 24, Alva had spoken to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Assam’s Himanta Biswa Sarma and Karnataka’s Basavraj Bommai seeking support in the elections scheduled to be held on August 6. Alva had said she would also approach Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath.

In her tweet on Monday, Alva also shared a purported message from the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited urging the Congress leader to fill out her KYC – know your customer – details.

Notably, on July 19, the Delhi Police had issued an advisory warning citizens that the name and official logo of the MTNL was being used to commit cyber fraud.

The image shared by Alva looked similar to a specimen of the fraudulent message shared by the police.

“Mobile customers receive WhatsApp messages from miscreants on the pretext of KYC updation to retrieve confidential information,” the Delhi Police had warned.

The police had also informed the public that MTNL does not carry out KYC verification over WhatsApp, according to the Hindustan Times. A similar advisory was also issued by the Press Information Bureau last year.

Vice-president elections

In the vice-presidential elections, Alva will face National Democratic Alliance candidate, former West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.

Alva, a Congress leader, had served as the Union minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions from 1991 to 1996. She has also served as the governor of Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.

The electoral college for picking the vice president comprises Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs. Of Parliament’s current strength of 780, the Bharatiya Janata Party alone has 394 MPs, more than the majority mark of 390.