Thiruvananthapuram: The ghost of deceased Sunanda Pushkar appears to be dogging her husband Congressman Shashi Tharoor, who Tuesday filed a complaint against two Left leaders and the BJP Mahila Morcha for slander.
In his complaint filed before the chief electoral officer (CEO), Tharoor, a candidate from the prestigious Thiruvananthapuram parliamentary constituency, has accused Communist Party of India (CPI) legislator V.S. Sunil Kumar of seeking to damage his image on television by calling him Pushkar's "murderer".
Pushkar, a businesswoman, was found dead Jan 17 this year under mysterious circumstances at a five-star hotel in Delhi. The death had triggered media frenzy.
"Such an outrageous falsehood is both defamatory and violates the model code of conduct," Tharoor said in his complaint.
Tharoor, a former United Nations official also accused M. Vijayakumar, a former speaker and ex-CPI(M) legislator of tarnishing his image.
"In almost all TV channels Tuesday, there was news that showed M. Vijayakumar speaking that I have a doctorate in 'violence against women', which is also a violation of the code," Tharoor's complaint claims.
His complaint also named the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Mahila Morcha for putting up hoardings, which show him garlanded with "chappals" and being beaten by women.
"All these are examples of a sustained campaign of vilification and defamation by both the LDF (Left Democratic Front) and the BJP, intended to portray me as someone who harms women and using false stories about the tragic death of my wife to assassinate my character," Tharoor said.
He added that the personal attacks were a "desperate ploy" by his opponents who have no answer to the "development work" he has done.
Demanding stern action, Tharoor asked election observers to make note of such slander against him at the corner meetings organised by the Left and the BJP.
Tharoor is pitted in a triangular contest against CPI candidate Bennet Abraham, a doctor by profession, and veteran BJP leader O. Rajagopal.
In his first outing in 2009, Tharoor won by a margin of 99,998 votes. He filed his nomination papers Tuesday.