Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had to delete one of his tweets announcing the demise of former Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Thursday night after BJP leaders pointed out that she was hale and hearty.
Reacting to the news about her death being circulated on social media without any confirmation, Sumitra Mahajan said she was shocked and slammed news channels for running reports about her demise without verifying with the Indore administration.
"How could news channels run a report on my so called demise without even cross checking with the Indore administration? My niece refuted Mr. Tharoor on Twitter but what was the urgency in announcing without confirmation?," she told news agency ANI.
Even the former Lok Sabha speaker's son, Mandar, put out a video clip, saying his mother is perfectly fine and urged people not to believe in false news being spread about her.
"My mother is perfectly fine. Please do not rely on false news being spread about her. Her COVID report is negative. I met her only in the evening and she is healthy," he said in the video.
Meanwhile, Shashi Tharoor has said in another tweet, "Spoke to Sumitra Mahajan ji's son to convey my sincere apologies at last night's misinformation. He was most gracious and understanding. Delighted to hear she is very much better. Expressed my best wishes to her and her family."
In a tweet late on Thursday night, Tharoor said: "Saddened to learn of the passing of former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Majahan." "I remember many positive interactions with her, including when she and the late Sushma Swaraj asked me to lead a Parliamentary delegation to BRICS in MOSCOW. My condolences to her family and prayers: Om Shanti!" he added.
Reacting to the tweet of the Congress MP, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya clarified that Mahajan is "absolutely fine". "Tai ekdum swasth hai. Bhagwan unhe lambi umar de (She is absolutely fine. May God bless her with a long life)."
In turn, Tharoor thanked Vijayvargiya for issuing a clarification in this regard. "Thanks Kailash Vijayvargiya. I have deleted my tweet. I wonder what motivates people to invent and spread such evil news that takes in people. My best wishes for Sumitra ji's health and long life," said Tharoor.
Mahajan, 78, served as the Lok Sabha speaker from 2014 to 2019. The BJP MP represented the Indore constituency from 1989 to 2019 as the longest-serving woman member of Parliament and then retired from electoral politics.