Sonia Gandhi-Smriti Irani Altercation Outside Lok Sabha After Uproar In House Over Chowdhury's 'Rashtrapatni' Remark: Reports
Meanwhile, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claimed that the remark was a "slip of the tongue".
Union Minister Smriti Irani targeted the Congress in Lok Sabha, on Thursday (28 July), over the insult to the President of India Droupadi Murmu. She slammed Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for referring to Murmu as "Rashtrapatni".
However, Chowdhury claimed that it was a "slip of the tongue" and alleged that the BJP was making a 'mountain out of a molehill'. "I can't even think of insulting the President. It was just a mistake," he claimed.
On the other hand, BJP MPs including Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman protested against Chowdhury outside the parliament with posters saying "Adivasi beti ka apmaan nahi sahega Hindustan (India won't tolerate insult to its tribal daughter" and demanded an apology.
Later, Chowdhury said that he will personally apologise to Murmu and asked not to drag interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi into this. This was because Smriti Irani had named Sonia Gandhi too among other Congress leaders in her speech on the issue in the Lok Sabha.
Calling Congress as 'anti-tribal, anti-poor and anti-woman', Irani said, "I want to ask the Congress chief, you sanctioned the humiliation of Droupadi Murmu, you sanctioned the humiliation of the tribal legacy of this country, Sonia ji sanctioned the humiliation of a woman in the highest constitutional post."
The Lok Sabha was adjourned after the uproar but friction was seen outside the house too.
When Gandhi was talking to BJP's Lok Sabha MP from Bihar, Rama Devi, Irani reportedly approached the same spot with some other BJP leaders. It was at this moment that Gandhi is reported to have said "Don't talk to me" to Irani.
This was followed by a spat of two-three minutes between the two leaders, according to Aaj Tak. Gaurav Gogoi, Ravneet Singh Bittu and Supriya Sule then reportedly took Gandhi away.
On this incident, Sitharaman said, "We felt threatened when Sonia Gandhi came up to our senior leader Rama Devi and her 'don't talk to me' remark was meant to put our parliament member down. Instead of remorse, Congress has greater and greater aggression."
On the other hand, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh called Irani's behaviour "atrocious and outrageous." Another Congress leader Gogoi said, "The party which raises slogans in the name of women, today they have shown how they have humiliated another woman (Sonia Gandhi). Our leader was humble and polite."
The BJP continues to demand an apology from Gandhi, while Congress leader Gurjeet Singh Aujla said, "The government does not have anything to say in the Parliament, hence they are making an issue."
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