Shashi Tharoor, a former UN diplomat turned politician, has lost the Congress presidential election. Tharoor, 66, lost to Mallikarjun Kharge, 80, a loyalist of the Gandhi family. Shashi Tharoor got 1,072 votes while Mallikarjun Kharge won 7,897 votes, media reports say.  

Who is
Shashi Tharoor?

Tharoor was born on March 9, 1956 in London, United Kingdom. His father Chandan
Tharoor and mother Sulekha Menon were both from Palakkad in Kerala. Chandoon
Tharoor worked for 25 years with The Statesman and eventually became the
Kolkata-based newspaper’s group advertising manager. Shashi Tharoor’s uncle,
Parameshwaran Tharoor, was the founder of the Reader’s Digest in India. Shashi
Tharoor’s parents returned to India when he was two years old.

Shashi Tharoor
graduated from St. Stephens College, New Delhi in 1975. At St. Stephens,
Tharoor was the president of the students’ union. After graduating, Tharoor
went on to do an MA in International Relations from The Fletcher School of Law
and Diplomacy, Tufts University in Medford. He subsequently obtained another
Master of Arts degree in Law and Diplomacy in 1977. He obtained his PhD in 1978
aged 22, becoming the youngest person to obtain a doctorate in Fletcher School’s

The same
year, Tharoor joined the United Nations as a staff member of the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1996, Tharoor was
appointed Director of Communications and Special Projects and Executive
Assistant to Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

In 1981,
Shashi Tharoor married his college sweetheart Tillottama Mukherji, a
half-Kashmiri and half-Bengali academic. The couple had two sons Kanishk and
Ishaan. In 2007, Shashi Tharoor married Christa Giles. Their marriage did not
last long. Three years later, Tharoor married Sunanda Pushkar, a Dubai-based
businesswoman. Four years later, Sunanda Pushkar died under suspicious
circumstances at The Leela Hotel in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.

In 2002,
Tharoor was confirmed as Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public
Information (UNDPI).

In 2006,
Tharoor contested elections for the post of Secretary-General of the United
Nations, but he lost to South Korean politician and diplomat Ban Ki Moon. Tharoor
quit the UN in 2007 and returned to India. After taking on several positions of
global significance, Tharoor eventually returned to India.

Tharoor contested his first elections on a Congress ticket in 2009. Broadly
seen as a political upstart who had helicoptered in to Kerala’s fraught landscape
ahead of the polls, Tharoor won the Thiruvananthapuram seat by nearly one lakh

He was
subsequently appointed as a Minister of State in the Manmohan Singh-led UPA
government. He also served as the Minister of Human Resource Development from