What’s in a name? How Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s ‘rashtrapatni’ saga unfolded


Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury came under fire after he referred to President Droupadi Murmu as ‘rashtrapatni’ in a video clip.

Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Photo: File)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury sent a letter to President Murmu seeking apology for his ‘rashtrapatni’ remark
  • Chowdhury also sent a letter to the Speaker explaining himself and calling out union minister Smriti Irani
  • The row erupted after Chowdhury referred to President Murmu as ‘rashtrapatni’

Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury sent a letter to the Speaker on Friday explaining himself after a row erupted over his ‘rashtrapatni’ remark towards President Droupadi Murmu. In the letter, he wrote that he has the highest regard for the president and that the controversy erupted because of a “mere slip of tongue” on his part.

Earlier in the day, he had also written a letter to the president seeking an apology from her. There too, he insisted that the remark was a result of a “slip of the tongue” and requested her to accept his apology.

ALSO READ | In Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s note to Lok Sabha Speaker, an apology, then a complaint

‘RASHTRAPATNI’ ROW UNFOLDS IN PARLIAMENT

The Congress leader came under fire after he referred to President Murmu as ‘rashtrapatni’ in a video clip. His remark was heavily criticised by BJP MPs who protested in Parliament and demanded an apology.

Union ministers Smriti Irani and Nirmala Sitharaman were among some of the BJP leaders who demanded that Congress President Sonia Gandhi apologise for Chowdhury’s remark. Smriti Irani on Thursday said Sonia Gandhi sanctioned the humiliation of Droupadi Murmu and added that congress workers under Sonia’s leadership continue to demean women in constitutional posts.

Things got heated between the two leaders and Sonia Gandhi told Smriti Irani “don’t talk to me” after the latter intervened in a conversation between Sonia and BJP leader Rama Devi.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury responded to the complaints against him and said the whole incident was blown out of proportion by the BJP. He further questioned why Sonia Gandhi’s name was dragged into the controversy.

Chowdhury in his letter to the Speaker called out Smriti Irani for “yelling ‘Droupadi Murmu’ repeatedly without prefixing Hon’ble President or Madame or Smt. before the Hon’ble President’s name” and for behaving “very inappropriately” with Sonia Gandhi.

He said Sonia Gandhi was subjected to “verbal assault and physical intimidation” and the ruling party “ended up creating a hostile environment for her in the House which is unprecedented in the history of Parliament”.

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