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Cong never hesitates to associate with fringe group: Sitharaman

New Delhi [India], Jun 9 : Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday lashed out at the Congress party and said the party never hesitated to associate itself with fringe groups.

Sitharaman's statement came after the Congress party allegedly questioned the timing of the recovery of a letter that talked about the Maoists mulling "Rajiv Gandhi-type" assassination of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"If there is some allegation that Congress party is supportive of this, then I can only say that in the last few years it is very apparent and in your face that the Congress party has definitely, even at the level of their President, never hesitated to associate itself with those fringe groups of the Communist, Marxist Leninist CPI(ML) who have also become notorious for the 'Bharat tere tukde tukde karenge'" Sitharaman said.

On Thursday, the Pune police told a court that they were in possession of the letter, seized from the residence of one of the five people, arrested in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence.

"Modi-led Hindu fascism is bulldozing its way into the lives of indigenous Adivasis. In spite of big defeats like Bihar and West Bengal, Modi has successfully established BJP government in more than 15 states. If this pace continues, then it would mean immense trouble for the party.... Comrade Kisan and few other senior comrades have proposed concrete steps to end Modi-raj," the letter read.
"We are thinking along the lines of another Rajiv Gandhi type incident," it added.

Rebuffing the letter, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam said that the assassination threat is probably a tactic of the Prime Minister to address his 'declining popularity.'

"I am not saying this is completely untrue but it has been Prime Minister Modi's old tactic, since he was Chief Minister. Whenever his popularity declines, news of an assassination plot is planted. So it should be probed how much truth is in it this time," Nirupam told ANI.

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