Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned for the day on Thursday as furore continued over Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury referring to President Droupadi Murmu as ’rashtrapatni’.
As the House resumed at 4 pm, MPs from both treasury and the Opposition were shouting. Kirit Premjibhai Solanki, who was on Chair, urged members to take their seats. As pandemonium continued, he adjourned the proceedings for the day.
Earlier in the day, when the House met at 11 am, BJP members were up on their feet demanding an apology from Congress president Sonia Gandhi over Chowdhury’s remark.
”The Congress leader has disrespected the President. The Congress cannot tolerate that Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a poor tribal woman the Presidential candidate,” Union Minister Smriti Irani said.
Amid the furore, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla adjourned the proceedings of the House till 12 noon. Similar scenes were witnessed when the House reassembled.
”Sonia Gandhi should apologise for Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s remarks,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said amid the din. Later, BJP member Rajendra Agarwal, who was in the Chair, adjourned the proceedings till 4 pm. Earlier, Irani said Murmu has become the target of the Congress’ hatred.
”Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s remark is anti-Adivasi, anti-poor and anti-woman,” she said. Targeting Gandhi, Irani alleged that the Congress president ”sanctioned humiliation” of a poor tribal woman who has occupied the highest constitutional post in the country.
Targeting Gandhi, Irani alleged that the Congress president ”sanctioned humiliation” of a poor tribal woman who has occupied the highest constitutional post in the country.
”Sonia Gandhi, maafi maango (Sonia Gandhi, apologise). Your male leaders are disrespecting a poor tribal woman,” the minister said. Such humiliation of Murmu will not be tolerated by the poor, tribals and women of the country, she added.
BJP MPs strongly supported Irani, inviting counter-protests from Congress members. Chowdhury is the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha and made the remark on Murmu while talking to the media during his party’s protests over a host of issues.
Later, the Congress leader told reporters outside Parliament that referring to Murmu as ’rashtrapatni’ was a ”slip of the tongue” and accused the BJP of making a ”mountain out of a molehill” over the issue.
The president is called ’rashtrapati’ in Hindi.