Kolkata: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor Thursday admitted he was "taken aback" when Narendra Modi congratulated him after he won the Lok Sabha elections, especially after a remark the prime minister had made about his wife Sunanda Pushkar.
"I was surprised because apart from the fact that Modi had not shown signs of reconciliation with an opponent before, he and I had also clashed quite clearly and explicitly 6 to 8 months previously when he had said something nasty about my wife and I responded both on Twitter and television," he said.
He was referring to a comment made by Modi during the general elections about his late wife Sunanda Pushkar.
"I was surprised. There was both a perception that I had won that particular exchange and also that I would not forgive him for that exchange. I was very impressed. I was taken aback.
"It was a very gracious thing to do. It was associated with messages from well-meaning people claiming assorted degrees of proximity to the new power centre. I did take that as a positive signal," Tharoor said here.
"He (Modi) had reached out to me once earlier on Twitter but it was definitely politically cynical which was that he appealed to me in joining him to get young voters to register and since that was a cause I already believed in. I had no problems signing on to it.
"And frankly, I didn't think it was any love lost for me since I had the country's largest Twitter following among politicians until he overtook me. Since I was still No.2, he had every reason to take my followers onboard."