Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, whose pictures with Mahua Moitra were circulated widely on social media, said that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP is like a daughter to him. He also denounced the circulation of photos as "low-level politics."
Speaking with reporters in Kottyam, Kerala, Tharoor gave context behind the viral photos. He said the photos were taken at Moitra's birthday party. He also accused certain individuals of intentionally cropping and misusing these photos.
Moitra is 'around 20 years younger to me'
"This is just cheap politics. It was the birthday party of that child. Well, she is not a child, but for me, she is like one. That MP is around 20 years younger to me," the 67-year-old Thiruvananthapuram MP said. "It was her birthday party, in which around 15 people, including my sister, participated. Instead of showing the full image, they are spreading the cropped one. They are spreading it as a private meeting, but then who clicked the picture."
Moitra's reactions to viral photos
On October 15, the photos of Tharoor and Moitra having dinner and raising a toast together went viral. Another photo showed Moitra smoking a cigar. The viral photos also had an image that showed Tharoor and Moitra with another person seemingly cropped from the photo.
The TMC leader on her X (formerly Twitter) handle alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party was behind circulating the photos.
"Most amused to see some personal photos of me being circulated on social media by @BJP4India ‘s troll sena. I like green dress better on me than white blouse. And why bother cropping - show rest of the folks at dinner as well. Bengal’s women live a life. Not a lie," Moitra tweeted.