Tharoor counters Chandrasekhar's defamation suit, calls it a ploy to diminish his popularity

Rajeev Chandrasekhar and Shashi Tharoor. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: Shashi Tharoor has asserted that he has not made any false or malicious remark against Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
Tharoor, a three-time Member of Parliament representing the Kerala capital, said this in response to Chandrasekhar's legal defamation notice served on him.

The Congress leader is currently engaged in a closely observed electoral battle with Chandrasekhar, who is the NDA candidate in Thiruvananthapuram.

In the defamation notice, Chandrasekar claimed that during an interview with a local news channel, Tharoor made defamatory statements, alleging his involvement in illegal activities such as offering money to voters. Additionally, Chandrasekhar contended that incumbent MP accused him of disseminating falsehoods among Christian communities.
Read more: Know your candidate: When Tharoor takes on tycoon in Thiruvananthapuram

Tharoor's response to the Union Minister's notice also asserted that nowhere in the interview did he make any defamatory statements implicating Chandrasekhar in illegal activities such as voter bribery or spreading lies within Christian communities.

Moreover, Tharoor's legal representation emphasised that he bears no responsibility for any alternate versions of the interview or any post-production alterations, casual conversations, or studio recordings not intended for broadcast. The statement further accuses Chandrasekhar of fabricating controversies to divert attention from his own inadequacies and shortcomings, aiming to undermine Tharoor's popularity and credibility.

The response has requested the Union Minister to retract the statements and issue an apology, stipulating that failure to comply with the notice's demands will compel Tharoor to pursue legal action. "If your client disregards this notice and persists in defaming my client with false accusations, my client will have no choice but to pursue legal action under Sections 500, 171G, and 211 of the Indian Penal Code. Additionally, my client will initiate civil proceedings to seek unliquidated damages for the harm caused by the unfounded allegations," the statement elaborated.

Earlier, Rajeev Chandrasekhar had asserted that he would not tolerate lies about himself and would utilise all legal avenues to hold accountable those responsible.

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