- Sharad Pawar said threat letter used to win people's sympathy
- BJP has realised they are losing popular support, Mr Pawar said
- Devendra Fadnavis criticised Mr Pawar over "stooping to this level"
On Friday, the police in Maharashtra's Pune told a court that a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a "Rajiv Gandhi-type incident" during one of his roadshows has been revealed in a letter seized from a suspected Maoist.
Speaking at a rally, Mr Pawar on Sunday said, "The BJP has realised that they are losing 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."
The comment drew sharp reactions from BJP with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis hit out at the veteran leader saying he did not expect Mr Pawar to to "stoop down 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 @narendramodi ji," Mr Fadnavis tweeted.
In a tweet in Marathi, Mr Fadnavis said that "Pawar ji should play politics of the nation and not politics of hatred."
Speaking at the NCP function in Pune, Mr Pawar raised doubts on 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 the media but to security agencies which make sure that adequate security measures are taken," he said.
The threat letter was recovered from Rona Wilson, one of the five people arrested from Mumbai, Nagpur and Delhi in connection with 'Elgar Parishad' held in Pune in December and the subsequent Bhima-Koregaon violence in the district.