NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday said that the apparent assassination plot against Prime Minister Narendra Modi was devised to garner sympathy for him.
"They (Pune Police) say there was a threatening letter. I spoke to a retired police officer who had worked for the CID. He said there is no substance in the letter. The letter is being used to garner people's sympathy," Pawar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Condemning the arrest of five persons for having alleged Maoist links, Pawar said, "When like-minded people came together to organise Elgar Parishad, they were called naxals and arrested. Everyone knows who executed Bhima Koregaon Violence but those who have no link with it were arrested. This is the misuse of power."
The Pune police on Thursday claimed to have seized an email, from one of the five people arrested, which hinted at plans to assassinate Modi in "another Rajiv Gandhi-type incident" by "targeting his roadshows".
Letters furnished by the Pune police in local court revealed an alleged plot by the Maoist party to assassinate Modi through a suicide bomb, in the same way in which then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated.
Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam also cried foul and said that this was "an old tactic" of PM Modi.
News agency ANI quoted Nirupam as saying, "I am not saying this is completely untrue but it has been PM Modi's old tactic since he was CM. Whenever his popularity declines, news of an assassination plot is planted. So it should be probed how much truth is in it this time."