New Delhi: Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Friday tendered an apology to President Droupadi Murmu over his controversial “Rashtrapatni” remark.
This came a day after he said that ‘there is no question of apologising as he had mistakenly referred to President Droupadi Murmu as Rashtrapatni”. “I am writing to express my regret for having mistakenly used an incorrect word to describe the position you hold. I assure you that it was a slip of tongue. I apologise and request you to accept the same,” reads a letter written by Chowdhury.
Speaking to ANI on Friday, Chowdhury said, ” I am waiting for BJP to term me terrorist and arrest me under UAPA. They want to become champions of tribals but hide how murders are happening. Laws brought under Sonia Gandhi are being changed. They are working against tribals.”
“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?” Chowdhury told ANI on Thursday questioning why the Congress Interim President is being dragged into the controversy.
“India’s President, whoever it is, a Brahmin or tribal a Rashtrapati is a Rashtrapati. It is a post of great honour and prestige. Yesterday, when reporters asked me during a protest at Vijay Chock where we are headed, I said – We are going to the Rashtrapati’s house, to meet with the Rashtrapati. Suddenly, once, Rashtrapatni slipped out of my mouth. That is because in the past few days, there has been so much discussion over Rashtrapati and Rashtrapatni. Suddenly, just one time, only once, it came out by default,” he had said in a video in his defence on Twitter and accusing the BJP of making too much out of a slip.
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.
BJP MPs demanded an apology from Congress on Lok Sabha MP Adhir Chowdhury’s ‘Rashtrapatni’ remark against President Droupadi Murmu.
In Lok Sabha, Union Minister Smriti Irani said the Congress should apologise in Parliament, and on the streets of India, to every citizen of India.
“Sonia Gandhi, you sanctioned the humiliation of Droupadi Murmu. Sonia ji sanctioned the humiliation of a woman in the highest constitutional post. Sonia ji sanctioned the humiliation of a poor woman who ascends to the highest Office in this country. You sanctioned the insult of every Indian citizen. You through your male Congress workers and leaders continue to demean the Office of the President of India. Apologies to the nation. Sonia Gandhi apologies to the tribal, poor and woman of the country,” said Union Minister Smriti Irani in Lok Sabha.
BJP women MPs on Thursday filed a complaint with the Lok Sabha Speaker against Sonia Gandhi who allegedly shouted at Smrti Irani after the Union minister reportedly intervened as the Congress interim president was speaking to BJP MP Rama Devi.
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told ANI, “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, putting the member down in the House”.
“So instead of remorse, from the highest leader of the Congress party, we find greater and greater aggression,” Sitharaman said.
The union minister said that “In every way, Congress party has been attempting to undermine a tribal. self-made, successful leader. We, from the BJP demand, the Congress party apologise to the nation”.
Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi said that the Behrampore MP had already apologised. To this Sitharaman said: “She is misleading the country. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has been claiming that there is no need to apologise.”
Following the whole controversy, Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi said that Sonia Gandhi was subjected to “shameful behaviour” by the BJP MPs.
Commenting on the row over Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s “Rahtrapatni” remark, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday said the act was not a slip of tongue. “It was not a slip of tongue. If you watch the clip, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury clearly (referred to President Murmu as) ‘Rashtrapati’ twice, then he called her ‘Rashtrapatni,” said Rijiju while speaking to ANI.
National Commission for Women chief Rekha Sharma on Thursday called the ‘rashtrapatni’ remark by Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on President Droupadi Murmu “sexist” and stated that it shows his “mindset towards women”.
Sharma said that the Congress leader “must apologise in writing” and asked the party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi to take action against him.
“He must apologize, in writing. His party president should take action against him. We have also written to Sonia Gandhi Ji regarding the same. NCW has summoned AR Chowdhury; he must come and apologize,” Sharma said.
Observing that the remarks made are extremely derogatory, sexist and condemnable, the Commission has taken cognizance of the matter, the press note from NCW stated.
Meanwhile, Lok Sabha MPs of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) met in Parliament House today.