Thiruvananthapuram: As a man who has courted controversies ever since he plunged into electoral politics, the death of his wife could become the focus of yet another row for Union Minister Shashi Tharoor.
Obviously, what made the news of the death of Sunanda Pushkar all the more shocking was that it came close on the heels of the couple's tweets about strains in their relatiohship that hit headlines across India and abroad.
Though the Congress party in Kerala is yet to react to the news, it could certainly prove as a jolt to the party as Tharoor is considered as a candidate sure to seek a second term from Kerala's capital, a seat he contested and won with a margin of nearly one lakh votes in 2009 polls, humbling his nearest CPI rival.
Aristocratic and flamboyant, Thaoor has always courted controversy despite his record as a former UN diplomat and writer.
Joining Congress shortly after his return from the United Nations where he served as Under Secretary General, Tharoor notched up a sterling victory in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. He was handpicked for the Kerala capital seat by the party high command, much to the envy of many in the party's state unit.
He was straightaway made a Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs, though it proved to be a short stint as he was forced resign amid a controversy over allegations pertaining to his role in Kochi IPL team, in the context of which his name was first connected with Sunanda.
An avid cricket fan, Tharoor ran into trouble amid allegations that he had sought "sweat equity" for Sunanda, whom he married in August 2010, from the franchisee of the Cochin IPL team.