Did not expect Sharad Pawar to stoop to this level: CM Fadnavis

Did not expect Sharad Pawar to stoop to this level: CM Fadnavis
Fadnavis (right) hit back at NCP chief Sharad Pawar after the latter called the plot to “assassinate” PM Modi as BJP’s attempt to gain sympathy

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday hit back at Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar after the latter called the supposed plot to “assassinate” Prime Minister Narendra Modi as BJP’s attempt to gain sympathy.

Earlier on Sunday, Pawar claimed that the people would not fall prey to the BJP’s attempts to generate sympathy by playing a “threat letter card”.

The NCP chief was speaking at a function marking the 19th anniversary of the party and the culmination of the party’s “Halla Bol” campaign, under which string of rallies and protests were held against the BJP-led Maharashtra government.

“Some progressive people in Pune came together and organised the Elgar Parishad. Now, the government is arresting some of them and branding them Naxalites. Everyone knows who were behind the Bhima Koregaon (violence) but instead of arresting them, those who have no connection, have been arrested and this is called the misuse of power,” the former union minister said.

“The BJP has realised that they are losing the popular support. In order to gain sympathy, the BJP is now playing the threat letter card. However, I am sure that the people will not fall prey to such tactics,” Pawar said.

The veteran politician recently indicated his willingness to play a key role in uniting the opposition parties at the national level against the BJP for 2019 polls.

He also raised doubts about the veracity of the threat letter.

“I have spoken to a senior retired police officer who told me that when such letters come they do not go to media but to the security agencies which make sure that adequate security measures are taken,” the former chief minister said.

Later in the day, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis responded to the allegations and criticised Pawar for “stooping to this level”.

“It is very unfortunate that Sharad Pawar ji is raising doubts about the communication ceased by the police which revels the plot to assassin Hon PM Narendra Modi ji. Hon PM Narendra Modi ji is the leader of our nation and not just of a political party,” Fadnavis tweeted.

“@PawarSpeaks is not expected to stoop down to this level. Police has all the evidence and truth will prevail,” another tweet said.

During the police’s probe into the Bhima-Koregaon caste violence, they found a letter in the house of a person arrested for alleged Maoist links.

The letter talked about the ultras’ mulling “Rajiv Gandhi-type incident” and suggesting that PM Modi should be targeted during his “road shows”.

The letter was supposedly recovered from the house of Rona Wilson who was among five people arrested from Mumbai, Nagpur, and Delhi in connection with ‘Elgar Parishad’ held in Pune in December and the subsequent Bhima-Koregaon violence.

Earlier this week, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam also alleged that the assassination plot could be fake.

“I am not saying this is completely untrue but it has been PM Modi’s old tactic, since he was Chief Minister. Whenever his popularity declines, news of an assassination plot is planted,” he told news agency ANI.

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