What Next In 'Rashtrapatni' Remark Controversy?

by Swarajya Staff - Jul 29, 2022 02:30 PM +05:30 IST
What Next In 'Rashtrapatni' Remark Controversy?Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
  • BJP MP Nishikant Dubey on Friday said the Lok Sabha will only function after Congress president Sonia Gandhi apologises for party MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's remark.

Congress leader and Leader of Opposition, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary's remark against President Droupadi Murmu has caused a political storm that refuses to die down.

Uproar in Odisha Assembly

On Thursday, opposition BJP MLAs protested over Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's remarks on President Droupadi Murmu in the Odisha assembly.

After the adjournment of the House, BJP members staged a protest on the assembly premises and demanded an unconditional apology from Congress president Sonia Gandhi for Chowdhury's unacceptable remark against the President.

Opposition chief whip Mohan Majhi of BJP said, "The Congress has not only insulted the president of India, but also Odisha's daughter. Sonia Gandhi must take action against Adhir Ranjan immediately."

BJD MLA Raj Kishore Das from Murmu's Mayurbhanj district also condemned the Congress leader’s remark.

Irate Sonia Gandhi Further Fuels Fire

In the middle of the controversy is Congress's interim President, Sonia Gandhi.

On Thursday, Gandhi was asked if she would ask her party leader to apologise for calling India's first tribal and second woman President, "Rashtrapatni". Her curt reply failed to assuage sentiments. With a whiff of anger and exasperation in her tone, she replied that Chowdhary "has already apologised".

During the Lok Sabha session, the matter further escalated as Gandhi and BJP MP Smriti Irani reportedly had a verbal altercation outside the House. The BJP protested the patronising and threatening tone of Gandhi while dealing with her fellow MPs.

Senior BJP leader, Rama Devi, whom Gandhi approached to discuss her name being "unnecessarily" dragged into the controversy, told the reporters about the details of the verbal exchange between Gandhi and Irani.

She narrated that it was Gandhi who had turned half-way to speak with the women BJP MPs. Irani, who was standing along with her fellow MPs, told Gandhi that she should ask questions to her party leader. To which Gandhi retorted, coldly, "Do not talk to me".

In the entire episode, Congress President, who is also facing questioning by ED for her alleged involvement in the National Herald scam, has been unable to hide her inflamed emotions in the face of opposition attack.

BJP Demands Apology from Sonia Gandhi

BJP MP Nishikant Dubey on Friday said the Lok Sabha will only function after Congress president Sonia Gandhi apologises for party MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's remark against the President.

He tweeted that the Congress has a history of misusing democracy and Parliament. In 2012, the Congress had given 10 notices against then BJP president Rajnath Singh for just speaking about the family's (Gandhi family) trust, he added.

Political Murders of Hindu Activists Clouds BJP's Stance

The timing of the BJP MPs' protest however coincides with the mourning and outrage over the brutal murder of a Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha member,Praveen Nettaru, in coastal Karnataka. There has been visible anger against the BJP for failing to protect its workers from murderous onslaught against them by extremist forces.

Hence, despite the fact that a BJP MP took on Sonia Gandhi, the reaction among BJP's supporters has not been on expected lines. In other times, it would have been cheered; at this moment, however, the party's support base seems more concerned with what's happened in Karnataka and the party’s response to it.

(with inputs from PTI)

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