Amidst 'Rashtrapatni' remark row, the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday said wrote to the Chairman of the House, requesting him to expunge the remarks made by Union Ministers and BJP MPs Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal on Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi in the House.
On Thursday, Sitharaman demanded an apology from Sonia Gandhi claiming that the controversial remark by Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury against President Droupadi Murmu was a "deliberate sexist insult". While Goyal said, "We demand Congress interim president to apologise in the parliament and also in front of the country."
Highlighting the remarks and the demand made by the Union Ministers, Kharge in his letter wrote, "I wish to draw your attention to ruling made by R. Venkataraman, the-then Hon'ble Chairman of Rajya Sabha on 15 April, 1987 wherein he observed "No person who is not a member of this House can be referred to in the House in a derogatory manner or in any other way affecting his reputation."
"In fact, even a 'Question of Privilege' cannot be raised directly in one House against the members of the other House," Kharge said.
Explaining further, he said, "In this regard, a procedure has been laid down based on a report of Joint Sitting of Committees of Privileges of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha which was presented to both Houses on 23 August, 1954 and later adopted by the Houses in December, 1954."
Mentioning the procedure, Kharge emphasised the sanctity of sovereignty of each House of Parliament and its members.
"Hence mentioning and making remarks in regard to a member of the Lower House in the Upper House is a gross violation of the time-honoured conventions," he added.
He also requested from the chairman that Sitharaman and Goyal should apologise for their violation of sacrosanct conventions of the House.
Meanwhile, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary said that he had mistakenly used the term "Rashtrapatni" for President Murmu and that the ruling party was deliberately trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.
Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi said, "Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has already apologised." In Lok Sabha Smriti Irani spoke on Chowdhury's remarks and sought an apology from him and Sonia Gandhi. BJP members were on their feet supporting her.