Congress came to the rescue after its party floor leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury passed the 'Rashtrapatni' remark leading to a ruckus in Parliament. Chowdhury on Wednesday courted controversy after he referred to President Droupadi Murmu as 'Rashtrapatni' in the Lower House.
Congress leaders defending Chowdhury's remarks attacked the central government for making an issue of the statement. Party leader Gurjeet Singh Aujla said, "Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has already apologised for his remark."
"The government does not have anything to say in the Parliament, hence they are making an issue of his statement. He did not even get a chance to speak in the Parliament," Aujla said.
While , Gaurav Gogoi speaking on dragging Sonia Gandhi's name in the matter said, "Today we saw a very shameful behavior towards our leader Sonia Gandhi inside Lok Sabha. Objectionable slogans were raised against her. But being a fearless leader, Sonia Gandhi went to the women MPs, but BJP MPs behaved in a very ill-mannered way."
"The party which raises slogans in the name of women, today they have shown how they have humiliated another woman," he said. Gogoi also said, "Our leader was humble and polite, if BJP thinks such small behaviour is going to affect her, it is their mistake."
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the man himsel found in the middle of the controversy said that he would apologise to the President if she felt bad about the remark.
"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," the Congress leader said.
"They can hang me if they want. I am ready to get punished but why is she Sonia Gandhi being dragged in this?," he asked.
After the House adjourned, Sonia Gandhi walked up to an agitated Rama Devi and reportedly told her that when Adhir Ranjan has already apologised, why was she being dragged into it?
When Smriti Irani, who was also present, tried to intervene, Gandhi asked her not to speak to speak to her. Later, Supriya Sule of NCP from opposition benches and Pralhad Joshi from the Government's pacifed the agitated members, according to IANS.
Taking to Twitter, Jairam Ramesh said: "Atrocious and outrageous behaviour by Union Minister Smriti Irani in the Lok Sabha today! But will she be pulled up by the Speaker? Are rules only meant for the Opposition?"
(with agency inputs)