The Congress has been officially silent on the death of Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor’s wife, Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor, saying it is a private matter, but its two senior most leaders — Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi — have paid their condolences.

The Prime Minister, who had telephoned Dr Tharoor on Friday, followed it up with a written condolence message to his ministerial colleague on Saturday — an act that is being read in the party as an act of solidarity.

“It is with shock and deep sadness that I learnt about your bereavement,” Dr. Singh wrote, adding, “The loss of one’s companion is indeed irreparable but I would like you to know that we are with you in this hour of grief. May God give you strength to tide over this difficult time.”

On Saturday evening, hours after Ms. Pushkar Tharoor was cremated, Ms. Gandhi visited Dr. Tharoor at his residence to convey her condolences in person. From the government, Minister of State for Home R.P.N. Singh was at the funeral.

Earlier in the day, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Union Overseas Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi and former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit visited Dr. Tharoor’s home to commiserate with him on his loss.

Apart from the Prime Minister, Union Minister for Minority Affairs K. Rahman Khan, too, offered his condolences in writing: “I am terribly shocked and deeply saddened to learn about the untimely demise of your beloved wife Smt. Sunanda. At this hour of sorrow, I convey my most heartfelt condolences to you and the bereaved family.” .

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