Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday accused Congress Interim president Sonia Gandhi of misleading the country by saying that Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had apologised for his ‘Rashtrapatni’ remarks when the Congress MP himself said that there was no questioning of an apology. Sitharaman further alleged that BJP leaders felt ‘threatened’ as a BJP MP intervened when Gandhi walked up to another party MP Rama Devi when on the floor of the Lok Sabha.
Chowdhury, meanwhile, has said he is ready to apologise to the President, while slamming the BJP for unnecessarily dragging Gandhi into the controversy.
The Congress has claimed that Gandhi had walked up to Rama Devi, and politely asked why her name was being taken. According to The Indian Express, Sonia Gandhi went up to Smriti Irani and said something, to which Irani replied, “How can you talk to me like this and that she (Sonia Gandhi) is intimidating us.”
“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 and she (Sonia Gandhi) said “You don’t talk to me”,” Sitharaman told reporters.
Sonia-Smriti face off in Lok Sabha
Irani delivered a fiery speech in the Lok Sabha, confronting Gandhi and asking her to apologise before the country over his party leader Chowdhury’s remarks on President Droupadi Murmu. Irani added that it was an insult to all the tribals and the poor Murmu represents through her struggle to the top. “Sonia Gandhi, you sanctioned the humiliation of Droupadi Murmu. Sonia ji sanctioned humiliation of a woman in the highest constitutional post,” said Irani.
Sonia Gandhi misleading the nation, says Nirmala Sitharaman
When asked whether she would ask Congress Leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to apologise for his remark, Sonia Gandhi told ANI that Chowdhury has already apologised. However, an adamant Chowdhury maintained that it was a mere slip of tongue and there was no question of an apology. He later agreed to apologise personally to the President. “There is no question of apologising. I had mistakenly said ‘Rashtrapatni’, now if you want to hang me for it, then you can…the ruling party in a deliberate design trying to make mountain out of a molehill,” Chowdhury told ANI.
“Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi said that he has already apologised, she is misleading the country. Chowdhury has been claiming that there is no need to apologise,” Sitharaman said, reacting to the contrasting developments. “In every way, Congress party has been attempting to undermine a tribal. self-made, successful leader. We, from the BJP demand, the Congress party to apologise to the nation.”
Hang me, but don’t drag Sonia Gandhi into this: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
Meanwhile, Chowdhury decided to tender an apology to the President, while slamming the government over dragging Sonia Gandhi into the controversy. “I can’t even think of insulting the President. It was just a mistake. If the President felt bad, I will personally meet her & apologise. They can hang me if they want. I am ready to get punished but why is she (Sonia Gandhi) being dragged in this?” Chowdhury told ANI.