The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Ranma Devi demanded an apology from Congress President Sonia Gandhi over sexist remarks against President Droupadi Murmu during the Lok Sabha session yesterday. The situation arose as the party leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury called Murmu ‘Rashtrapatni’, which the BJP claimed was demeaning. Despite receiving an apology from Rama Devi himself, the BJP was asking Sonia to apologise as well.
However, things turned ugly as BJP leader Smriti Irani got involved in the argument and started bashing Sonia Gandhi during the session. When Gandhi questioned the BJP why she should apologise when Devi had already done so, Irani intervened and this led to chaos.
Congress is claiming that Gandhi was polite and asked Irani to not intervene respectfully. They also say that Irani’s behaviour was inappropriate and she used abusive language. Congress General Secretary (Communications) Jairam Ramesh said, “When Sonia-ji politely told her that she is not talking to her but to another MP, Smriti Irani shouted, ‘you don’t know me, who I am!’.”
BJP on the other hand said that Sonia Gandhi was speaking harshly and used a threatening tone. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman claims it was Gandhi who began everything as she threatened Irani.
Several MPs have given their view on the chaos. NCP’s Supriya Sule, who escorted a visibly upset Sonia Gandhi out, said that this was an unnecessary incident. She said, “Unfortunate scenes were witnessed in Lok sabha today. Was shocked to hear unnecessary sloganeering against Mrs Gandhi after house was adjourned. We all should take responsibility of the house and maintain its dignity and decorum.”
Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha Deputy Leader Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted, “This is shameful and bully behaviour of BJP MPs. Has to be condemned by one and all, this hooliganism that was led by a hysterical minister who herself is facing charges of illegal operations in Goa, besides fake education affidavits should be called out.”
Trinamool Congress’ Mahua Moitra tweeted, “Was in Lok Sabha when 75 year old lady senior leader encircled & heckled pack-wolf style when all she did was walk over & speak (masked) to another senior lady panel chairperson. Disgusted to read BJP lies & false version in press.”