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Union Minister Shashi Tharoor landed in a controversy over a cross-border tweet war involving his wife Sunanda Pushkar and a Pakistani woman journalist Mehr Tarar in which allegations of an affair between him and the foreigner came up.
As the indecorous row surrounding the suave 57-year-old Shashi Tharoor escalated, the controversy-prone minister took to Twitter to come out with a joint statement with his wife Sunanda Pushkar to say they were "happily married", but distressed by "some unauthorised tweets".
"We wish to stress that we are happily married and intend to remain that way. Sunanda has been ill and hospitalised this week and is seeking rest. We would be grateful if the media respects our privacy," said the statement by Shashi Tharoor, who married Pushkar in 2010. The row erupted after exchange of some messages involving the three, some of them intimate.
"We are distressed by the unseemly controversy that has arisen about some unauthorised tweets from our twitter accounts," the diplomat-turned politician said.
Sunanda Pushkar has accused the 45-year-journalist Mehr Tarar of stalking her husband and trying to "break" her marriage when she was away for medical treatment.
Both Tharoor, who finds himself in the controversy barely months before the Lok Sabha elections, and Pushkar had married twice before. The Minister of State for Human Resources Development is a Congress Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram.
The tweet war, which set the social media abuzz, also saw Sunanda Pushkar allege that Mehr Tarar was an ISI agent. Tarar denied the charge and threatened to file a defamation suit against her.
A day after she reportedly alleged that her husband was having an "extramarital affair" with the journalist and that she would "seek divorce", Sunanda Pushkar appeared to relent a bit and said earlier in the day, saying Shashi Tharoor and she are a "very happily married couple".
Pushkar also alleged that Mehr Tarar wanted to have a "relationship" with her husband and asked her to stay away.
Mehr Tarar, a mother of a 13-year-old son and an Op-ed writer and a contributor to a Pakistani daily, tweeted up a storm since the saga started playing out on social media, shooting off uncharitable barbs at Pushkar and defending herself.
Mehr Tarar dismissed the allegations as untrue and said she was totally amused. She said Sunanda has