Footage shows Tharoor after recording his statement (PTI)
New Delhi, Jan. 19: Union minister Shashi Tharoor today expressed his horror at the “reckless speculation” swirling around his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death and urged the Union home minister to speed up the probe.
“In the midst of my mourning, I have finally had a chance to catch up with the media reports and am horrified to read the reckless speculation rampant there. I am appealing to you to issue instructions to the relevant authorities to expedite their investigation and come to a rapid conclusion so that the truth emerges at the earliest,” the junior minister for human resource development said in a letter that was released to the media.
“I pledge full and unstinting cooperation. Nothing short of the truth will end the indignity to which my wife and I are being subject at a time when all I seek is to be allowed to grieve in private with her and my near and dear ones,” said Tharoor, 57.
Sources said he wrote the letter within an hour of returning to New Delhi after immersing Pushkar’s ashes in the Ganga in Haridwar.
Other than the personal implications, the sense of urgency also assumed a political context with a veteran Congress leader linking a ticket for the Lok Sabha elections to a clean chit from police.
P.P. Thankachan, the convener of the Congress-led ruling coalition in Kerala from where Tharoor reached the Lok Sabha, said the party would not field him if he was booked in connection with Pushkar’s death.
Sources said Tharoor had confirmed to a sub-divisional magistrate that Pushkar argued repeatedly and at times heatedly with him in the 48 hours before her death on Friday. The statement does not hold much surprise, given the nature of the tweets exchanged between Pushkar and Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar who was accused of conducting an affair with Tharoor.
But Tharoor also told the officer, Alok Sharma, that he had promised his wife he would do “whatever was needed” to salvage their troubled, three-year-old marriage, sources said.
Journalist Nalini Singh also recorded a statement with Sharma.
PTI quoted AIIMS sources as saying no trace of alcohol was found in Pushkar’s body but the presence of an anti-depressant was likely.