Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said he has withdrawn his allegation made during Lok Sabha polls against Shashi Tharoor that the Congress leader is an “accused in a murder case”. The case mentioned here relates to the death of Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar in January 2014, who in suspicious conditions was found dead in Hotel Leela. Tharoor has been charged under sections 498A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code for the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. The matter is being heard in a court in Delhi. The law minister iterated that the remarks came in response to Tharoor’s “Modi is like a scorpion sitting on Shiv Linga” remarks with respect to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On October 28, 2018, speaking at Bangalore Literature Festival, Tharoor had said “Modi is like a scorpion sitting on a Shivling, you cannot remove him with your hand and you cannot hit it with a chappal either”. Tharoor was referring to a profile on Modi published in the controversial left-leaning magazine The Caravan in 2012, titled “The Emperor Uncrowned”.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, hearing Tharoor’s statement held a press conference and demanded the then Congress President Rahul Gandhi to apologize for Tharoor’s remarks whilst referring to Tharoor as an accused in a murder case.
To which Shashi Tharoor retorted back with a tweet.
Tharoor, a Member of Parliament (MP) from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala had demanded an unconditional written apology from Prasad within 48 hours of the receipt of the notice. The notice called upon the Union minister to delete the tweet along with the video clip of the press conference.
Legal notice to Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon'ble Minister of Law and Justice, for false and defamatory statements made against Dr. Shashi Tharoor, MP on October 28, 2018.
Shashi Tharoor ಅವರಿಂದ ಈ ದಿನದಂದು ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ ಬುಧವಾರ, ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 31, 2018
After Shankar withdrew his statement, Tharoor responded by saying, “It was very gracious of you to withdraw your words in respect of myself, which had offended me greatly. I welcome your sentiments and in view of our long association, I am happy to treat the matter as closed”.
The series of verbal tirades, allegations, and withdrawal of statements has been going on for two years between the two political heavyweights. Although in the proceedings, Prasad has been a big let-down for the party and supporters. Ravi Shankar Prasad, who has been a Union Minister of Law and Justice since 2016, should have made the murder remarks prudently. He could have refrained from making the comments if he did not have any claims or evidence to back it.
He should have weighed-in his statements appropriately. And if the matter is sub-judice, the Union Minister could have completely steered away from commenting on the matter.
It needs to be seen whether Shashi Tharoor withdraws his statement of “Scorpion on a Shiva ling” comment about the PM. Ravi Shankar Prasad asserted in his letter that Mr. Tharoor introspect and consider that the comment he made was avoidable and that it painted the Prime Minister in an uncharitable light.