When the high-flying and erudite Shashi Tharoor decided to tie the knot with an equally high profile and dynamic business woman, Sunanda Pushkar, on August 22, 2010 in true Kerala style, it had hogged headlines.
The wedding was the third for both the Union Minister and Sunanda, a Kashmiri Pandit, but it had generated immense public interest and curiosity. Along with the lavish marriage ceremonies held at the minister’s ancestral village in Palakkad and later at a reception held here, which was attended by dignitaries of all hues, controversies also kept trailing the couple.
Whatever be the exact reasons behind the untimely death of Sunanda, the political implications over the incident are likely to shake the state and to some extent, the future of Shashi Tharoor. That her death has come a day after tweeting over a controversy and allegations involving a Pakistani woman journalist and releasing a joint statement with Tharoor later in an attempt to overcome it, will give it a political twist and campaign stock for the opponents of the Union Minister.
With the Lok Sabha polls round the corner, the Congress camp will face a lot of hurdles to overcome the opposition campaign and onslaught, irrespective of whether Shashi Tharoor is again in the poll fray or not. The diplomat-author turned suave politician-minister had won the polls in 2009 from the T’Puram segment with a thumping majority.
The last public appearance of Sunanda, along with her husband, in the capital was at a function in which the launch of the UAE Consulate was declared on last Saturday. She was socialising with one and all with a never-fading style and charm during high tea, but always with the watchful support of a close woman aide and relative.
After the function,she was in the capital for a couple of days more, and reportedly took medical treatment.
The topsy-turvy relationship between Tharoor and Sunanda was a matter of speculation now and then. Given the unique status the Union Minister commanded in Congress politics and the varied interests pursued by the couple, including in businesses, the couple had caught unusual media attention.
At the end of the tweeting row on Thursday, the couple had said: ‘’We wish to stress that we are happily married and intend to remain that way.’’ A day after, it is a different scenario.