The Minister of State Shashi Tharoor with his wife Sunanda Pushkar.
New Delhi: Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Minister of State Shashi Tharoor, was found dead in a luxury hotel here last night, just a day after they claimed they were “happily married” despite an ugly public row.
Police sources said that Pushkar, who married Tharoor in August 2010, was found sprawled on a bed in room 345 at The Leela Palace hotel in south Delhi. She had reportedly checked into the hotel on Thursday night.
On Thursday, Tharoor and Pushkar issued a joint statement saying they were distressed by an “unseemly controversy” over some “unauthorised tweets” posted from their Twitter accounts and that both were “happily married and intend to remain that way”.
The statement claimed that “distorted accounts” of comments “allegedly made by Sunanda”, alleging an affair between her husband and a Pakistani journalist, had “led to some erroneous conclusions”.
“We wish to stress that we are happily married and intend to remain that way.” A Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram in the southern state of Kerala, it was Tharoor’s third marriage to Pushakar and her second.
A scandal erupted on Wednesday after tweets posted on Tharoor’s account reportedly spoke of his love to the Pakistani journalist, Mehr Tarar, who denied she was having an affair with the Indian minister.
Pushkar initially threatened to divorce Tharoor, who then tweeted that his twitter account had been hacked and would be offline for sometime. But a furious Pushkar told a newspaper that Mehr could be a Pakistani spy and that she was stalking Tharoor. “And you know how men are. He is flattered by the attention.”
“I will not allow this to be done to me. I just can’t tolerate this. I have nothing more to say,” she told the Economic Times.
Tarar threatened to file a defamation suit against Pushkar for calling her a Pakistani intelligence agent. She also trashed Pushkar, saying her conduct was “nauseous”. The news of the death of Sunanda Pushkar came as a shock tonight to the people in Thiruvananthapuram which Tharoor contested and won easily in his electoral debut in 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
Congress party in the state is yet to react to the development as most leaders of the party, including Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Home Minister and KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala, are in Delhi in connection with the AICC meeting. Though politicians of different hues are yet to react to the news, police stepped up protection to Tharoor’s constituency office in the heart of the city as soon as the news of his wife’s death in a Delhi hotel spread.
The Tharoor couple, marrried in August 2010, were seen together in the city a few days ago coming out of the famous Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple.
The local media are agog with reports that Sunanda had undergone a medical test in a super speciality hospital here before she left the city after her last visit. However, the hospital is yet to confirm that report.