NEW DELHI: In the context of the probe into the mysterious death of Sunanda Pushkar once again gaining traction and Delhi Police hinting that her husband Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor, could be quizzed some time later this week, the latter’s meeting with his party chief’s political secretary Ahmed Patel appeared significant.
More so, since Tharoor’s meeting with Patel was neither hushed up nor was kept a secret. In the high command-driven Congress, a meeting with Patel is considered to be the next best option when a direct audience with 10 Janpath cannot be clinched.
Sure enough, no sooner had the meeting got over the Congress was vigorously backing Tharoor with the obvious “law will take its own course” caveat. Though somewhat of a recluse, Patel himself did not deny the meeting when cornered at a lunch thrown by former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Hooda.
When asked whether Tharoor would be asked to resign, Patel snapped, “Why should he? He’s fully cooperating with the investigation.” It seems, the registration of a murder case in connection with Sunanda’s mysterious death in a hotel suite, where the couple had checked in days before the tragedy, was discussed during the meeting; so was the political situation in Kerala.
But all things equal, the Patel-Tharoor meeting may not have been as benign as it was made out to be. According to a Congress secretary, it has been conveyed that the party should not get embroiled in the investigation in any which way. Sunanda’s death, incidentally, was detected at a time when the AICC session was on at Talkatora Stadium here and Tharoor had left the hotel early to attend the session.
There is palpable apprehension that some members of the AICC organising committee may be also be quizzed to verify Tharoor’s whereabouts during the session “though his Twitter handle is the best proof of his activities”.
However, another Congress leader, who was a minister in the Department of Home Affairs, pooh-poohed the “conspiracy theories floating around” on the ground that he was privy to the investigation that took place earlier.
“The only reason why the case has not been closed yet is because, the exact cause of the death -- whether it was a cocktail of drugs consumed (by her) or poisoning of some sorts -- was not conclusively proved. All other aspects, including whispers about IPL slush money, are just imagination of fertile minds. She was far too rich and well endowed for any of that.”
This, of course, is a Congress leader’s take on the affair and ‘a mysterious death’ that is being probed as murder. But that the long and the short of it is that the Congress party is not dumping Tharoor to fight an entirely lonely battle.
Cops in no Hurry to Grill Tharoor
New Delhi: Though Congress MP Shashi Tharoor is back in the national capital, Delhi Police is in no hurry to grill him in connection with his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death. On Monday, Police Commissioner B S Bassi said: “I know Tharoor is in Delhi. Our SIT (Special Investigation Team) is working on the case and if they require then they will call him soon.” Tharoor reached here on Sunday from Kerala, where he had undergone ayurvedic rejuvenation treatment. On the letter Tharoor recently wrote to the police, the Commissioner said: “I got the letter but need not give him a reply. Everybody has a right to say and speak.”