The National Commission for Women (NCW) has summoned Congress leader Udit Raj over his “sycophancy” remark against President Droupadi Murmu. In a notice issued on Thursday, the Commission asked him to appear before it on October 10 and explain his “extremely condemnable and shameful” comments. NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma also condemned his remark and called it a “derogatory and insulting statement”. “Highly objectionable statement against the Supreme power of the country and a woman who with her sheer hard work reached this position,” Sharma’s tweet read.
Sharma also demanded the leader’s apology. At a function recently, Murmu noted Gujarat manufactures 76% of salt produced in the country. “It can be said that all countrymen eat Gujarat’s salt,” she had said. The western state produces nearly 80% of the salt consumed in India.
Referring to Murmu’s remark, Udit Raj posted a tweet on Wednesday. “No country should get a president like Droupadi Murmu. This is the height of sycophancy. She says 70% of people eat Gujarat’s salt. Spend your life eating salt, then you will know the truth,” Raj’s tweet read. In the notice, the NCW said that it has taken cognizance of his remark. “The comments made are extremely condemnable and shameful. The Commission has sent a notice to Shri Udit Raj. NCW has scheduled a hearing and asked Shri Raj to appear before the Commission in person on October 10, 2022 at 3 pm,” the panel said in a press statement.
The remark also led to a backlash from BJP. “It is a matter of surprise and pain that Congress leaders are regularly using such undignified expressions. This exposes the party’s anti-tribal mindset. The Congress should apologise,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said. He recalled the unsavoury row triggered by Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury earlier when he had used the term “Rashtrapatni” for the president.
The Congress leader later put out a clarification on Twitter, saying his statement on President Murmu was his only and “nothing to do with the Congress”.