New Delhi: Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy on Sunday dared Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor to name the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders who regretted the remark Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi made against the minister's wife Sunanda Pushkar. In an interview to Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN show Devil's Advocate, Tharoor has claimed that many BJP ministers reached out to him "saying they regretted the deplorable conduct" of Modi.
"Shashi Tharoor must reveal the names of BJP ex-ministers who told him that they deplored Narendra Modi's 'Rs 50 crore girlfriend' remark. Either Tharoor should have treated it as confidential or if he has to broadcast it then he must reveal the names," said Swamy. The Janata Party chief said if the matter was confidential and Tharoor has gone public with it then he is "complicit in the treachery of letting down the BJP leaders".
In the interview, Tharoor claimed that "a very large number of BJP people, including some former ministers" reached out to him saying "they regretted the deplorable conduct of one of their own".
Taking a jibe at Tharoor, Swamy said that the minister countered Modi's remark in a similar language and therefore Sunanda should pull up her husband and not the BJP minister. "Incidentally what Modi said against Sunanda was countered in the same refrain and vein by Tharoor in his statement that his girlfriend was priced at infinity rupees (priceless) not a mere Rs 50 crore. Hence Ms Sunanda should pull up Tharoor instead of Modi," he said.
Modi had on Monday called Sunanda "a Rs 50 crore girlfriend". "There was a Congress leader who was a minister in Parliament. He was accused of amassing wealth from cricket. He had said in Parliament that he is not connected to the Rs 50 crore that are in the lady's name…Have you ever heard of Rs 50 crore girlfriend?" he had said addressing a rally.
Responding to this, Tharoor had said that he had never shied away from acknowledging his wife in public or private. "Show me where I claimed I had nothing to do with her. Never said that. Proudly acknowledged her publicly and privately and in Parliament," the Congress minister tweeted. "My wife is worth a lot more than your imaginary 50 crores. She is priceless. But you need to be able to love someone to understand that," he further tweeted to his 1.5 million followers on Twitter. It got retweeted over 800 times, sparking a Twitter clash between Tharoor and Modi followers.