The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has demanded that Shashi Tharoor “disassociate himself from his ministerial responsibility” until the investigation into the tragic death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar are completed.

Congress backs him

The Congress, however, came to the defence of Mr. Tharoor with party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala ruling out his resignation. Mr. Surjewala said: “He is a responsible Minister. Nobody is accusing him of anything, why should he resign?”

This comes a day after the Congress named Mr. Tharoor as one of the new spokespersons of the party.

Earlier in the day, NCP spokesperson D.P. Tripathi said, “We are all with Shashi Tharoor in this hour of grief but I must say the charges are very serious and the Minister should dissociate from his ministerial responsibility.”

Mr. Tripathi told journalists that he was not demanding Mr. Tharoor’s resignation from the Union Ministry but merely that he dissociate himself from his ministerial responsibility, as propriety demanded it.

He dismissed suggestions that the NCP’s demand had been triggered by the political situation in Kerala, where the NCP is part of the Left Democratic Front that is in the opposition.

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