New Delhi: Bristling at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's joke on her laughter in parliament, Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury today said she would ask for action against Union Minister Kiren Rijiju, who had posted a video appearing to ridicule her.
- Kiren Rijiju posted a video appearing to mock Renuka Chowdhury
- She said she would ask for action against Mr Rijiju, who has deleted post
- Yesterday, PM in parliament had joked over Ms Chowdhury's laughter
During a debate in the Rajya Sabha yesterday, PM Modi had joked that Renuka Chowdhury's laughter reminded him of the 1980s' television series "Ramayana". Hours later, Mr Rijiju, the Minister of State for Home, shared a video that has now vanished from his Facebook page. It was a clip of the much-talked about exchange in parliament, but cheekily began with what many interpreted as PM Modi's insinuation - the "evil laugh" of Surpanakha, the sister of demon king Ravana, from a Ramayana episode. This morning, Mr Rijiju posted another version on Twitter - without the Surpanakha clip.
Renuka Chowdhury told reporters: "This is highly objectionable. I am going to file a privilege motion on this issue." The BJP's Vinay Sahasrabuddhe countered that he would move a privilege motion against Ms Chowdhury for "disrespecting the PM".
Yesterday, the 63-year-old Congress parliamentarian was sternly told off by Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu for chortling loudly during the Prime Minister's speech. "What happened to you? If you have some problem, see a doctor,"Mr Naidu said.
PM Modi interjected: "Meri aapse vinti hai Renuka ji ko kuch mat kahiye. Ramayan serial ke baad aisi hansi sunne ka saubhagya aaj jaake mila hai (I request you to let Renuka ji continue. After the Ramayana serial, we got the privilege of hearing this kind of laughter only today.)"
The house burst into laughter and BJP lawmakers thumped their desk while many in the Congress squawked in outrage.
"PM has denigrated the status of women. I am a mother of two daughters," Ms Chowdhury said.
"The government should apologise," added her colleague Pramod Tiwari.
Union Minister Smriti Irani countered: "I was present there. I heard the kind of indecent remarks she was making on PM Modi. Is it justified that she makes indecent remarks and when those remarks are met sarcastically she makes her gender her shield?"
"Ramayan", based on the epic chronicling the life of god-king Rama, enjoyed cult popularity in the late 1980s.