Following Lok Sabha MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s remarks against President Droupadi Murmu, a significant verbal brawl broke out between interim Congress chairwoman Sonia Gandhi and Union minister Smriti Irani. Gandhi demanded that her name not be associated with the argument over the opposition leader’s remarks.
Gandhi was confronted with a demand from the Bharatiya Janata Party for an apology after Chowdhury referred to President Murmu as a “rashtrapatni.” The Lok Sabha had to be suspended until 4 p.m. due to the ruckus. As per reports, people who overheard the conversation between the two leaders said that after it ended, Gandhi went to BJP MP Rama Devi to explain that Chowdhury had already apologised for his comments and that the BJP shouldn’t tie her name to the controversy. But the BJP requested that the Congress leader apologises for what her MP had said.
Rashtrapatni Comment Row
Reportedly, a source present during the conversation admitted that Smriti Irani and other women BJP lawmakers shouted at Sonia Gandhi as she was leaving and demanded that she apologise as well for the insults she had made about the President. Gandhi then told Irani to refrain from speaking to her. Gandhi’s remark caused a stir, and some BJP lawmakers even raised their voices in protest. Then, primarily women opposition MPs arrived and escorted Gandhi away, but the BJP side persisted in protesting, according to reports.
Nirmala Sitharaman, the Union finance minister, said in a comment outside of Parliament, “Some of our Lok Sabha MPs felt threatened when Sonia Gandhi came up to our senior leader Rama Devi to find out what was happening, and when one of our members approached her, she said, “You don’t talk to me.”
The incident involving Sonia Gandhi was described as “traumatic” and “sickening” by Congressman Gaurav Gogoi. One of the most respectable women in Indian politics, Sonia Gandhi, was subjected to severe heckling, verbal abuse, and physical intimidation by the BJP, he opined. According to ANI, Congressman Gaurav Gogoi said that within the Lok Sabha, everyone witnessed a “really despicable act” toward Sonia Gandhi. There were “offensive chants” directed at her.
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Mahua Moitra, a member of the Trinamool Congress, disputed the accusations made against Gandhi by BJP officials and questioned how a 75-year-old woman wearing a mask could “intimidate” anyone. President Droupadi Murmu was referred to as “rashtrapatni” by Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who said that it was an accidental slip of the tongue and that the BJP was making a “mountain out of a molehill.” On Thursday, BJP women lawmakers, including ministers in the Union, demonstrated outside of the Parliament building in response to Chowdhury’s comments.