New Delhi: Union minister Shashi Tharoor and his wife Sunanda issued a joint statement asserting that they were "happily married and intend to remain that way," after series of tweets brought their marriage in the public glare.
"We are distressed by the unseemly controversy that has arisen about some unauthorised tweets from our Twitter accounts. Various distorted accounts of comments allegedly made by Sunanda have appeared in the press. It appears that some personal and private comments responding to these unauthorised tweets -- comments that were not intended for publication -- have been misrepresented and led to some erroneous conclusions," the Tharoors said in a joint statement. (Read full text of statement here)
The row erupted after a series of curious tweets appeared on Mr Tharoor's account showing private messages between the minister and a Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar. Sunanda Tharoor had accused Ms Tarar of "stalking" her husband and of being an "ISI agent."
Those allegations were made on twitter; this morning, Mrs Tharoor told NDTV that Mehr Tarar was pursuing her husband. "I don't know if it's love, lust or obsession... as a man he (Tharoor) may have been flattered but that doesn't mean he will leave his wife," said Sunanda, who is Mr Tharoor's third wife. (Sunanda P Tharoor speaks to NDTV)
Ms Tarar tweeted this morning, "I have nothing to say to a woman clearly out of her mind. To be called an ISI agent, a stalker...I have nothing to add. Just shows who she is."
The tweets were splashed on several newspapers today, embarrassing the Congress' most popular online voice as his party prepared for key leadership meetings on Thursday and Friday to discuss strategy for the national election, due by May.
Mr Tharoor (@shashitharoor) posted a message late Thursday to his two million followers claiming his account had been "hacked" while Tarar (@mehrtarar) denied having an affair with him in a series of messages.
Mr Tharoor had to resign from his first ministerial post in 2010 after allegations that Sunanda had been given a free stake in the Kerala team in the money-spinning Indian Premier League (IPL).