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BJP fuels row over 'Rashtrapatni' comment of Congress leader

Insult to Droupadi Murmu, says Smriti Irani; Adhir Chowdhury apologises for 'slip of the tongue'
Droupadi Murmu
Droupadi Murmu
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PTI   |   New Delhi   |   Published 28.07.22, 11:40 AM

  • Sonia Gandhi walks across to speak to Smriti Irani in parliament amid row over Congress leader's 'Rashtrapatni' remark, reports
  • Lok Sabha adjourned till 4 pm amid furore over Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's 'Rashtrapatni' remark on President Droupadi Murmu, reports PTI

The BJP on Thursday accused the Congress of "demeaning" President Droupadi Murmu and demanded its apology after its leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury called her "rashtrapatni".

Union minister Smriti Irani said Chowdhury used the term knowing well that it demeans Murmu and her office and is against India's values. The Congress should apologise to the President and the country, she told reporters.

"A tribal woman from a poor family who created history is being continuously demeaned by the Congress," she told reporters.

Chowdhury, who is  leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, had used the remark while talking to the media during his party's protests over a host of issues. He later described it as a slip of the tongue and apologised. "Ruling party members are making a mountain out of a molehill," he told NDTV. 

Sonia Gandhi also clarified that Adhir had apologised when NDTV sought a comment. 

Irani alleged that the Congress has been targeting her "maliciously" ever since the BJP-led NDA named Murmu its presidential candidate, and said she was called a "puppet" and a "symbol of evil" by its leaders.

The attacks do not seem to stop even after her election to the highest constitutional office of the country, the BJP leader said.

Chowdhury's comment is also demeaning to the rich tribal legacy she represents and to the poor who rise through hard work.

The President is called "rashtrapati" in Hindi.

Murmu, India's first tribal President, had led a life of struggle and represents the country's aspirations from panchayat to Parliament, Irani said and charged that the Congress under its president Sonia Gandhi has repeatedly targeted women.

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