"I don't think it is wise to replace a candidate seven days before the election," said the former 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 Modi.

Joshi said there appears to be a conspiracy against Masood, who got into trouble after TV footage showed him saying derogatory words against Modi.

She said the tapes of Masood's alleged 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 he was a very strong contender from his constituency.

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

(Agencies)

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