The issue of derogatory remarks by Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary against President Droupadi Murmu sparked uproar in Rajya Sabha on Thursday with government demanding apology from Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
The uproar and sloganeering over Opposition’s demand to suspend the business and discuss price rise, hike in GST rate and other issues continued leading to adjournment till 12 noon.
“Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha made objectionable statement regarding the Rashtrapati by using a sexist word “Rahtrapatni”. It’s a common understanding that Rashtrapati is a gender agnostic word representing the leader of the country.
“I think it is not the slip of the tongue, it was a deliberate sexist insult against a person who comes from a tribal background,” said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Demanding apology from Sonia Gandhi, Sitharaman said that the remarks have been made at a time when the entire country is rejoicing in her selection as a Rashtrapati.
“Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has insulted the President of India. I demand an apology from the President of the Congress party Sonia Gandhi. She should apologise to the Rashtrapati and also to the entire country for the insult by her own leader in the Lok Sabha. This is a deliberate insult, and unacceptable,” she said.
Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu too spoke against the comments on President Murmu.
“Nobody is supposed to make any derogatory comments against the President of India. Making such comments is bad. Even in the Constituent Assembly it was discussed and Rashtrapati was used. I don’t know why it has happened. This is wrong,” he said.
Before the House assembled, Sitharaman along with BJP MPs protested outside the entrance to the Parliament House over the remarks by Chowdhary.
The Congress’ Leader in the Lok Sabha, who is in the eye of the storm, said that the remarks on President was a slip of tongue, and a mistake.
Sonia Gandhi too told mediapersons that Chowdhury has already apologized for his comments.
Naidu also warned Opposition MPs against filming proceedings inside the House on Thursday.
“Such actions are totally prohibited, if anybody is found guilty, action will be taken against him. There is no need to further say on this,” he said.
Naidu was also unhappy with Opposition MPs for bringing placards in the House despite clear instructions by the Chair.
“Note down the names of those who brought placards and they are named,” he said.