Adhir Ranjan demands 'unconditional apology' from Smriti for 'yelling' Droupadi Murmu without prefixing President
Days after his controversy for referring to President Droupadi Murmu as 'Rashtrapatni', Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Sunday has written to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, calling on Union Minister Smriti Irani to issue an "unconditional apology" for yelling the name 'Droupadi Murmu' without using the prefix 'President.'
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury triggered massive outrage by the BJP after his 'Rashtrapatni' remark, which the Congress leader said was a "slip of tongue as not very good at Hindi." However, the BJP had demanded an apology from Chowdhury along with Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi.
In a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker, the Congress MP said, "I wish to reiterate that It was because of a slip of the tongue that the name of our President Madam was dragged into the unnecessary and unwarranted controversy.
This inadvertent mistake happened because I am not very good at Hindi. I have regretted my mistake and have apologized to the President."
However, he pointed out that the manner in which Smriti Irani was taking the name of President in the House was not proper and in consonance with the status and position of the President.
"However, I may like to point out that the manner in which Smriti Irani was taking the name of Madam President in the House was not proper and in consonance with the status and position of the President. She was yelling 'Droupadi Murmu' repeatedly without prefixing President or Madam or Smt. before the President's name. This clearly amounts to degrading the stature of the office of the President. Therefore. I demand that Smriti Irani may tender an unconditional apology to the President for her disrespectful remarks and for lowering the dignity and stature of the President's office," Chowdhury said in a letter.
The problem additionally led to a conflict between the BJP and Congress in Parliament, with Smriti Irani, as claimed by the BJP, being snubbed by Sonia Gandhi who apparently requested the Union minister to not discuss to her within the Home.
The controversial remark led to a conflict between the BJP and Congress in Parliament. The BJP also claimed that Sonia Gandhi allegedly shouted at Smrti Irani after the Union minister reportedly intervened as the Congress interim president was speaking to BJP MP Rama Devi.
On Thursday BJP MPs including Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman protested in Parliament against Chowdhury over the remark and demanded an apology from the Congress party.
Notably, Chowdhury issued a written apology to President Murmu over his 'Rashtrapatni' remark which caused a political furore across the country.
In a letter addressed to the President, the Congress leader expressed his 'regret for having mistakenly used the word to describe the position.' "I assure you it was a slip of tongue. I apologise and request you to accept the same," Chowdhury wrote in the letter.
The BJP insisted the comment by Chowdhury was not a slip of the tongue as being claimed by the Congress leader.
Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju told ANI that it was not a slip of the tongue. "If you watch the clip, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury clearly (referred to President Murmu as) Rashtrapatni twice, then he called her Rashtrapati. Such matters should not be taken lightly," Rijiju said.