NEW DELHI: The Congress today said it would "neither cow down nor bow down" to the threats of Prime Minister Narendra Modi against its leaders, including Shashi Tharoor, as it accused the BJP and its government of conspiring to defame the former Union minister over the death of his wife, Sunanda Pushkar.
Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said BJP leaders had all conspired against Tharoor and accused him of murder, using Delhi Police as a tool.
He also alleged that a media trial was conducted against Tharoor to defame him as part of the conspiracy, in which Delhi Police was used as an instrument by the BJP and the Modi government.
"We reject the charges in toto. Mr Prime Minister, let me reiterate again as Dr Manmohan Singh said today, your statements said you will seek revenge against Congress leaders. Your statements threatening Congress leaders will not deter us from raising the voice of the people," he said.
"Congress leaders including Shashi Tharoor will neither cow down nor bow down," Surjewala told reporters. He said the party had full faith in the justice system."
"The justice system will once again prove the blind conspiracy of the Delhi Police and the active instance of the revenge-seeking factory of the Modi government," he said.
Asked about the charges against the former minister, he said "a conspiratorial BJP leadership including the prime minister and Delhi Police are seeking revenge against Tharoor".
He asked if there was a suicide note or a statement by the deceased before the police or a magistrate to say that she was forced to or being forced to commit suicide.
He also said there was no statement of any witness or family member of the deceased.
"The answer is no, there is no such statement either before the police or before any witness or before any magistrate.
"Where is the charge coming from? This is coming from the headquarters of the BJP. This is coming from the factory of lies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is threatening Congress leaders that he will seek revenge against them," he said.
"This is coming from the manufactured conspiracies of the BJP and the Union government and the Home Ministry, under whose dictates officers of Delhi Police are labouring and working," he claimed.
The Congress alleged the BJP had "hounded, persecuted and maligned" the Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram and former international civil servant.
"We completely reject the charge against Tharoor," he said emphatically.
Training his guns on Delhi Police, he alleged it was "an instrumentality of this conspiracy" and was used as a puppet.
"Delhi Police which was a tool to serve the political agenda of the BJP to malign Tharoor and Congress leaders, continued to leak unfounded evidence so that a media trial for one-and-a-half to two years continued against him," he said.
Surjewala said the viscera had been sent to international laboratories. "They could not pursue or persuade any laboratory to become a willing tool to their conspiracy to frame Tharoor," he alleged.
Having failed to do this, the Congress leader said, the murder charge which Delhi Police and BJP leaders jointly levelled against Tharoor had now been withdrawn and he was being charged under Section 306 IPC, or abetment to suicide.
More than four years after Pushkar was found dead in a hotel suite here, Delhi Police today charged the senior Congress leader with abetment, claiming it had enough evidence to proceed against him.
Tharoor, 62, dismissed as "preposterous" the nearly 3,000-page charge sheet filed before a city court and asserted he intended to contest it "vigorously".
The Congress leader is the only person named as an accused in the case.
The police have concluded it was a case of suicide and not murder.
An FIR was registered by Delhi Police on January 1, 2015, against unknown persons under IPC section 302 (murder).
The police have also alleged that Tharoor had subjected his wife to cruelty.