Congress came out in defence of Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday saying there is “no question” of his resignation and virtually snubbed its ally NCP which had said he must dissociate himself from his ministerial duties till probe into the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar is over.
“This could be personal opinion of NCP leader D.P. Tripathi...We are not the conscience keeper of NCP. Tharoor is in a responsible ministerial position. He is also an inseparable part of Congress. There is no question of his resignation,” party spokesperson Randip Surjewala said at the AICC briefing.
Maintaining that no personal allegations have been levelled by anyone over this unfortunate incident, the Congress spokesperson emphasised,” neither any individual, any party nor organisation are insinuating vis-à-vis the alleged suicide or the alleged murder of Sunanda. When there is no charge and nobody is alleging any role of Mr. Tharoor, why should he resign.”
He was responding to questions on NCP spokesperson D.P. Tripathi’s view, that the NCP thinks that Mr. Tharoor will himself disassociate from his ministerial responsibility till the investigation is over and that this was needed according to principle of propriety as the issue is serious.
Mr. Tripathi had at the same time made it clear that he was not demanding that Mr. Tharoor step down as a minister.
The NCP leader also dismissed suggestions that his demand was due to compulsions of the politics of Kerala where the NCP is part of the Opposition Left Democratic Front.
Reports earlier had it that BJP’s Kerala unit demanded the resignation of Mr. Tharoor from the Union Ministry in the backdrop of the death of his wife. Mr. Tharoor is a Lok Sabha member from Thiruvananthapuram.
The Congress spokesperson said that a magisterial inquiry into the episode has already been ordered and truth will come out. He also said that it was Mr. Tharoor, who had written to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde for expeditious inquiry into the matter.
52-year-old Sunanda was found dead in a 5-star hotel in South Delhi on Friday night, a day after her twitter spat with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar over an alleged affair with Mr. Tharoor.