It appears that this is not the first time that Shashi has got into trouble using Twitter, but this time seems to be the worst.
By Adam Plowright
January 16, 2014 5:39 AM
New Delhi (AFP) – The furious wife of the Indian government’s top-tweeting minister admitted Thursday she had hacked his account to send out messages exposing an alleged affair he was having with a Pakistani journalist.
The scandal was splashed on the front pages of several newspapers after a curious series of messages appeared on the Twitter account of the suave thrice-married human resources minister Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday evening.
They showed private exchanges apparently between 57-year-old Tharoor and Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar, 45, in which she professed her love for him and he said his wife had discovered his adultery.
Sunanda Tharoor, a formerly Dubai-based entrepreneur whom the minister married in 2010, confessed to sending the messages and also dragged up a corruption scandal that nearly wrecked her husband’s career.
“That woman pursued and pursued him… men are stupid anyway… for all you know she is a Pakistani agent. Where’s love, where’s loyalty in this world?… I am so distraught,” she was quoted as saying in the Indian Express.
Tharoor (@shashitharoor) posted a message late Wednesday to his two million followers claiming his account had been “hacked” while Tarar (@mehrtarar) denied having an affair with him in a series of messages.
“Our accounts have not been hacked and I have been sending out these tweets,” Sunanda told the Economic Times, while also referring to a cricket scandal in 2010 shortly after her husband entered politics.
The French-speaking former UN diplomat had to resign from his first ministerial post in 2010 after revelations that then-girlfriend Sunanda had been given a free stake in a new Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket team.
Opposition parties said the stake, reportedly worth up to 15 million dollars, was for Tharoor’s behind-the-scenes services in putting together a consortium that bought the Kochi franchise, based in his home state of Kerala.
“I took upon myself the crimes of this man during IPL. I will not allow this to be done to me,” Sunanda told the Economic Times.
Tharoor, a father of two adult sons from his first marriage, resigned saying that his conscience was clear, telling parliament he had done “nothing improper or unethical let alone illegal”.
Calls by AFP to his offices and home seeking comment on Thursday were not returned. A source in his parliamentary office in New Delhi said he was unwell and not working.
The politician, author and talented public speaker, who was once in the running to be secretary general of the United Nations, is the most active user of Twitter in the government and he has been instrumental in encouraging colleagues.
But it has damaged him on at least three occasions since he quit his three-decade career in the UN and entered Indian politics in 2008.
The allegations about corruption in the IPL were first exposed on the platform by the competition’s top administrator Lalit Modi and in 2009 Tharoor had to apologise after making a joke about “holy cows” in the cabinet.
He also once landed in hot water for criticising his government’s visa policy.
Sunanda told the Indian Express that she would be seeking a divorce, but then appeared to have relented on Thursday, writing on her Twitter account (@sptvrock) that “Shashi an& I are very happy together”.
India minister’s wife died of “drug overdose”
POSTED: 21 Jan 2014 00:27
NEW DELHI: The wife of Indian minister Shashi Tharoor, found dead in a luxury hotel after accusing her husband of being unfaithful, appeared to have died of drug overdose, news agency Press Trust of India said Monday.
Tharoor, 57, the junior human resources development minister, found his wife Sunanda Pushkar dead on Friday in her five-star hotel room in New Delhi after he returned from a Congress party meeting.
An autopsy report, which was submitted on Monday to a magistrate charged with investigating her death, cited a drug overdose as the cause of death, PTI reported.
According to PTI, Magistrate Alok Sharma refused to elaborate the details of the report, saying he would study it along with recorded statements of others, including that of Tharoor.
“On this basis I will conclude what was the cause of death and submit a report to the police whether a case is made out or not surrounding the death and whether police should carry out further investigation or not,” Sharma was quoted as saying by PTI.
Tharoor recorded his statement on Sunday, hours after he pledged full cooperation with investigations and urged a speedy inquiry into his wife’s death, which came after she exposed his alleged affair on Twitter with a Pakistani journalist, Mehr Tarar.
The death was a tragic twist in a tale of apparent marital strife that has played out in full view of the public’s gaze, both in India’s newspapers and on social media.
Sunanda Pushkar, 52, died an “unnatural, sudden death”, said doctors who performed an autopsy on Saturday, adding that more tests were needed to determine the exact cause.
Pushkar’s body had “some physical injuries”, but it was unclear whether they were related to her death, Sudhir Gupta, one of three doctors who performed the autopsy, had said.
Her body was cremated according to Hindu rites on the weekend.
Accusations of an affair first surfaced on Wednesday when unusual messages appeared on the Twitter account of the thrice-married Tharoor, who is also a novelist, a government spokesman and a prolific tweeter.
They showed private exchanges purportedly between the minister (@shashitharoor) and Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar (@mehrtarar), in which she professed her love for him and he said his wife had discovered their relationship.
Tharoor quickly responded by saying his Twitter account had been hacked, but Pushkar told two newspapers that she was the author of the messages.
Tarar strongly denied having an affair with the former high-flying UN diplomat.
Seeking to draw a line under the Twitter row, Tharoor issued a statement Thursday in which he blamed unauthorised tweets and distorted media reports for the “unseemly controversy”.
The statement said the couples were “happily married”.