New Delhi: After the Bharatiya Janata Party demanded an apology from Sonia Gandhi for insulting President Droupadi Murmu by referring to her as ‘Rashtrapatni’, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi said, “Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has already apologised.” “He has already apologised,” Sonia Gandhi responded to the media on party’s Adhir Chowdhury’s ‘Rashtrapatni’ remark.
However, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary said that he had used the term “Rashtrapatni” for President Murmu by mistake and that the ruling party was deliberately trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. He further added, “I can’t even think of insulting the President. It was just a mistake. If the President felt bad, I will personally meet her and apologise. They can hang me if they want. I am ready to get punished but why is she (Sonia Gandhi) being dragged in this?”
Meanwhile, Sonia Gandhi called an urgent meeting of senior party leaders in the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) office. Party leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury are also called. Sonia Gandhi, Adhi Ranjan Chowdhury and NK Suresh met the Lok Sabha Speaker and requested Lok Sabha Speaker to give him a chance to speak on the floor of the House on the allegations made against him for his statement.
Union Minister Smriti Irani slammed the Congress and demanded an apology for maliciously targeting President Droupadi Murmu and said the country knows that the opposition party is “anti-tribal, anti-Dalit and anti-women”.
The Congress needs to apologise in Parliament and on the streets of India, Smriti Irani said. In Rajya Sabha, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman demanded an apology from Sonia Gandhi. In Lok Sabha Smriti Irani spoke on Adhir’s remarks and sought an apology from him and Sonia Gandhi. BJP members were on their feet supporting her.
“Ever since the name of Droupadi Murmu has been announced as the candidate for the presidency of India. She has been targeted maliciously by the Congress party. Congressmen had termed her as a puppet candidate, and Congressmen have called her a symbol of evil. Their attacks do not seem to stop against Droupadi Murmu ji even after she has now been elected to the highest constitutional office of the country,” said Smriti Irani addressing reporters here today before the Parliament began.
The Union Minister lashed out at the opposition party, which said that despite being led by a woman leader Sonia Gandhi, Congressmen continue to demean women in constitutional posts. Previously, Congress leader Ajoy Kumar on Wednesday had said that Droupadi Murmu represents a “very evil philosophy of India.”
Ajoy Kumar alleged the condition of scheduled castes in India had become ‘worse’ and that Droupadi Murmu should not be used as an ‘Adivasi symbol’ by the ruling party.
“It’s not about Droupadi Murmu. Yashwant Sinha is also a good candidate and Murmu is also a decent person. But she represents a very evil philosophy of India. We should not make her a symbol of ‘adivasi’. We have President Ram Nath Kovind (and) Hathras (the gang rape and murder of a young Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh) happened. Has he said a word? The condition of scheduled castes has become worse,” Kumar said.
BJP MPs including Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday also staged a protest at Parliament against the Congress MP’s remark. She also added, “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 during which, one of our members approached there & she (Sonia Gandhi) said “You don’t talk to me”.