India should not pull Pakistan into its electoral affairs, Islamabad said on Sunday. “India should stop dragging Pakistan into its electoral debate and win victories on own strength, rather than fabricated conspiracies, which are utterly baseless and irresponsible,” Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said in a tweet.

The statement was in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s allegations that Pakistan was helping the Congress and interfering in the Gujarat Assembly elections.

Addressing a rally at Palanpur city in the state’s Banaskantha district on Sunday, Modi had said that Mani Shankar Aiyar, who was recently suspended from the Congress party for his “neech” remarks, held secret meetings with the Pakistan High Commissioner. “This is a serious issue. I want to ask what was the reason for this secret meeting with Pakistanis,” said Modi. “Former Pakistan Army Director General Arshad Rafique was willing to help make [Congress leader] Ahmed Patel the chief minister.”

This was the second time in two days that Modi made such allegations. On Friday, he had alleged that after he became prime minister in 2014, Aiyar had travelled to Pakistan to get him “removed” to improve relations between the two countries. Modi said the Congress had then tried to muffle the episode, and did not take any action against Aiyar.

Shatrugan Sinha questions Modi’s Pakistan reference

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shatrugan Sinha also questioned why the ruling party involved Pakistan to win an election.

In a series of tweets, without naming the prime minister, Sinha said: “Honourable Sir! Just to win elections anyhow, and that too at the fag end of the process, is it a must to come up with and endorse new, unsubstantiated and unbelievable stories everyday against political opponents?”

Urging his party to focus on development in Gujarat, he added, “Let’s stop communalising the atmosphere and go back to healthy politics and healthy elections.”

The first phase of voting was held in Gujarat on Saturday. A voter turnout of 68% was recorded as 89 constituencies went to polls. The remaining 93 constituencies will vote on December 14. The results will be declared on December 18.