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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Controversies dogged Sunanda Pushkar right till the end

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 17, 2014
First Published: 23:36 IST(17/1/2014) | Last Updated: 07:47 IST(18/1/2014)

Two days after a bitter Twitter war, Sunanda Pushkar is dead. Little is known about the reasons for Pushkar’s death at this point in time, but the controversy that surrounded her in the last 72-hours was unlike many others she had encountered.
 
On April 18, 2010, news emerged that Pushkar had surrendered her equity of Rs. 70 crore in the Indian Premier League Kochi franchise following a massive controversy over her and Tharoor’s involvement in the cash-rich domestic T20 cricket league.

Read: Tharoor, a man always in thick of controversies 
 
Tharoor, then the minister of state for external affairs, denied charges that he intended to get any financial gain for himself or his friend (Pushkar). The opposition, however, gunned for removal of the Thiruvananthapuram MP on the ground that he misused his office to get pecuniary gains for his friend.

Read: Sunanda Pushkar death: No sign of foul play, says Tharoor aide
 
Tharoor resigned the same day. He denied any role other than "mentoring" the successful bidders — a consortium including Pushkar, a Dubai-based Canadian citizen of Kashmiri descent.
 
Tharoor and Puskar got married on August 22, 2010.

Scene outside the hotel where Congress leader Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead, in New Delhi. (Photo by Sonu Mehta/ Hindustan Times)

 Read: Sunanda Pushkar's twitter trail reveals hurt, sense of betrayal

On October 30, 2012, Pushkar slapped a man at Thiruvananthapuram airport allegedly after he touched her inappropriately. According to reports, the incident took place when the couple arrived at the airport and were welcomed by a crowd of Congress workers. TV news channel footage available on YouTube shows Pushkar slapping a man in the crowd.
 
The latest public fracas came earlier this month, when she reportedly had an ugly spat with a journalist in Dubai.
 
The journalist, working for the Khaleej Times, a leading English daily of the United Arab Emirates, was doing an interview of Tharoor at a private dinner party on January 9 when the incident reportedly took place.
 
According to the Khaleej Times, the journalist was interviewing Tharoor after a prior appointment arranged by a public relations firm when Pushkar barged in and sought an end to the interview.
 
"You really need to stop this!" she was quoted as saying, referring to the interview that her husband was giving.
 
"This is why I hate the media," she reportedly screamed at the reporter. "I have thrown liquor at Arnab Goswami (a leading Indian television anchor). You think I can't do that to you?"
 
According to the Khaleej Times report, Tharoor was taken by surprise and quickly slipped into the shadows.
 
"The normally unflappable minister seemed lost for words, the outburst from Sunanda — heard by all within earshot — catching him clearly by surprise. The embarrassed minister, his charm rapidly fading, slipped into the shadows," the report said.
 
According to the newspaper, after the report went viral online, several tweets were sent out to both Tharoor and Pushkar enquiring about the article following which Pushkar tweeted: "some Journos!! Tell them to take an interview at a decent hour not at a family dinner means a Hissy fit? I had even slotted a time the next day despite Shashi not wanting to do it. this is the gratitude I get? (sic)"
 
The public relations firm later apologised for the incident, the Khaleej Times said.
 
In a Twitter post on January 14, Pushkar replied to a Twitter user who had questioned whether she was justified in “abusing a journalist.”
 
Pushkar posted: “normally I wouldn't have replied to this but as u used the word 'abuse 'I shall I DID NOT abuse (sic).”
 
(With inputs from IANS)


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