MUMBAI: Opposition in Maharashtra today questioned the government's claim of a Maoist conspiracy to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling it a possible attempt to divert attention or gain sympathy.
Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam said Modi spreads such information to "gain sympathy".
"It needs to be investigated whether this info is correct or not and this is also true that Mr Modi is habitual of spreading such false info to gain sympathy particularly when his popularity declines," Nirupam said on Twitter.
Pune police, who have arrested five persons for alleged Maoist links, yesterday claimed that ultras were planning to target the prime minister.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said that claims of existence of such a conspiracy appeared to be an attempt to divert attention from the main issues related to the Bhima-Koregaon violence in Pune district earlier this year.
Police should have investigated the matter before seeking remand of the accused citing the alleged conspiracy, he said.
"The information should have been probed first instead of citing it as a ground to seek remand.
It goes on to show that there is an attempt to do a publicity stunt," the NCP leader alleged.
A letter found in the house of Delhi-resident Rona Wilson, arrested for alleged Maoist "links", talks about the ultras mulling "Rajiv Gandhi-type incident" and suggesting that Modi should be targeted during his road shows, according to the Pune police.
Wilson 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.