Shashi Tharoor confronts attacks by rivals on wife Sunanda’s death


Union minister Shashi Tharoor has hit back at rivals who have raked up his wife Sunanda’s death to target him while campaigning for next month’s election.

Kerala’s opposition leader V S Achuthanandan had alleged a cover-up in the probe into her death and questioned by no case had been filed against the Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram.

Mr. Tharoor accused Mr. Achuthanandan of making politically motivated demands for a case against him. “Let us all encourage Mr. Achuthanandan to go and ask the Delhi police, not the Congress, for a case. The investigations are not being conducted by the Congress. There is no FIR, charge-sheet or complaint against me,” the Congress MP said.

In response, Mr. Achuthanandan today said, “My accusations are not political. A leader’s wife died in mysterious circumstances. My statements are based on legal procedures and inaction.” The CPI-M veteran pointed out that a magisterial inquiry is needed when a woman dies within seven years of marriage.
Mr. Tharoor on Wednesday complained to the Election Commission against Left and BJP leaders for what he called a “sustained campaign of vilification and defamation.”

Based on his complaint, the state administration issued notice to CPI-M leader M Vijayakumar, who allegedly said at a public meeting on Tuesday that “Shashi Tharoor has a PhD in violence against women.”

Mr. Vijayakumar and CPI legislator VS Sunil Kumar, who reportedly called the Congress MP a “murderer” in a TV interview on Monday, were asked to explain their remarks by Saturday.

Mr. Tharoor has also complained about “defamatory” hoardings by BJP’s women activists showing him being beaten by women protesters.

“This is a sustained campaign by both the Left Democratic Front and the BJP, intended to portray me as someone who harms women, and using false stories about the tragic death of my wife to assassinate my character,” the Congress leader said.