Will apologise to the President but not to these 'pakhandis': Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, in the soup for the 'rashtrapatni' remark which he claimed was a "slip of tongue", on Thursday said he will apologise to President Droupadi Murmu but not to "these pakhandis" (hypocrites).
He also accused the BJP of making a "mountain out of a molehill" over the issue.
Chowdhury said the term was used only once by mistake and he never intended any disrespect to the President even as the BJP stalled both Houses of Parliament and asked Congress president Sonia Gandhi to apologise to the nation.
"I inadvertently used the word 'rashtrapatni' just once and it was a slip of the tongue. I never meant any disrespect to the President," he told reporters outside Parliament.
"What should I do? I said it and realised I uttered a wrong word. I even looked for mediapersons to request them to not focus on it. However, I couldn't find them," Chowdhury said, a day after making the remark.
He later said, "I am a Bengali and not used to Hindi. I made a mistake, I agree."
The Congress leader said he has sought time from the President the day after tomorrow and will apologise to her if she has been offended by his inadvertent comments.
"I have sought time from the President and will apologise to her, but not to these 'pakhandis'," the Congress leader said, referring to the BJP.
Chowdhury's remarks came after he held a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi in her office in Parliament over the issue.
Some ruling party members are "deliberately trying to make a mountain out of a molehill", Chowdhury alleged.
In a video message later, he said India's president, be it Brahmin or tribal, is respected by all.
"Yesterday, when we were holding a protest at Vijay Chowk, journalists asked where we wanted to go. I said 'rashtrapatni' only once by mistake. I urged the journalists not to show my video where I committed a mistake. The BJP is creating a row over it now," he said.
According to Chowdhury, the BJP does not have anything on the Congress and is finding "masala" against it.
"The issue is being blown out of proportion... I do not have the remotest intention of humiliating the highest chair of our country," Chowdhury said.