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Rita Bahuguna Joshi defends party candidate Masood

Posted on Mar 29 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, March 29 : Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi Saturday defended party member Imran Masood, arrested earlier in the day for threatening BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, and said removing him won't be a "wise" decision.

"I don't think it is wise to replace a candidate seven days before the election," said the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president.

Masood, whom the Congress has fielded from the Saharanpur constituency in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested for his hate speech targeting Narendra Modi.

Joshi said there appears to be a conspiracy against Masood, who got into trouble after TV footage showed him saying he would "chop up" Modi.

She said the tapes of Masood's alleeged hate speech were 10 months old, and questioned the timing of their release.

"The Congress does not believe in politics of hate. Masood has also apologised," she said.

When asked if the Congress would disqualify Masood as its candidate, Joshi said Masood was a very strong contender from his constituency.

"The police have taken cognizance of the incident. Law will take its own course," she added.

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