Tharoors say all well; Kerala Left, BJP unconvinced
Union Minister Shashi Tharoor and wife Sunanda Pushkar said Thursday that all is well with them. However, the Left and the BJP in Kerala said there was need for follow-up on tweets by the minister's wife.
Tharoor is union Minister of State for Human Resource Development, and represents state capital Thiruvananthapuram in the Lok Sabha.
Kerala BJP president V. Muraleedharan Thursday told reporters that with allegations being levelled by his own wife about his connections with a Pakistani woman, a journalist allegedly also an agent of the Inter-Intelligence Service (ISI), the need of the hour was that Tharoor be ousted from the cabinet.
"The allegation of Tharoor's links with a Pakistani lady has come from his own wife, and hence it is all the more serious. He should be immediately ousted from the cabinet," Muraleedharan said.
Communist Party of India-Marxist politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the allegations against Tharoor are very serious, and a detailed probe is necessary to reveal the truth.
"It is appropriate that a detailed probe into what has surfaced be done, at the earliest," Balakrishnan told reporters Thursday.
The Tharoors, in a joint statement Thursday posted on Facebook, said they were distressed by the unseemly controversy over some "unauthorised tweets" from their Twitter accounts.
"Various distorted accounts of comments allegedly made by Sunanda have appeared in the press. It appears that some personal and private comments responding to these unauthorised tweets -- comments that were not intended for publication -- have been misrepresented and led to some erroneous conclusions," they said.
"We wish to stress that we are happily married and intend to remain that way. Sunanda has been ill and hospitalised this week and is seeking to rest. We would be grateful if the media respects our privacy," the joint statement said.
Tharoor's wife Wednesday posted on Twitter: "Our accounts have not been hacked and I have been sending out these tweets. I cannot tolerate this. This is a Pakistani woman who is an ISI agent, and she is stalking my husband. And you know how men are."
Mehr Tarar, a Pakistani journalist who has been in touch with Tharoor, expressed surprise over the controversy and tweeted: "I know Shashi Tharoor and respect him greatly. Have tweeted/written about it openly. Feel awful about what is being tweeted."
The controversy comes at a time when Tharoor, who won the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, is set to be named Congress party candidate in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls too.
(Posted on 16-01-2014)