Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today accused Sonia Gandhi of "greater and greater aggression" after an apparent confrontation between the Congress chief and Union Minister Smriti Irani in Lok Sabha over Congress MP and leader of opposition Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's remarks on President Droupadi Murmu.
Sonia Gandhi had reportedly rebuffed Smriti Irani after walking across the house to speak to BJP MP Rama Devi. She reportedly told Smriti Irani "don't talk to me" after the union minister intervened. The hostile exchange took place after Lok Sabha adjourned amid loud protests by BJP MPs against Sonia Gandhi and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
"Some of our Lok Sabha MPs felt threatened when Sonia Gandhi came up to our senior leader Rama Devi to find out what was happening during which, one of our members approached there and she (Sonia Gandhi) said you don't talk to me, putting the member down in the House," Ms Sitharaman told news agency ANI.
#WATCH | Some of our Lok Sabha MPs felt threatened when Sonia Gandhi came up to our senior leader Rama Devi to find out what was happening during which, one of our members approached there & she (Sonia Gandhi) said "You don't talk to me": Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pic.twitter.com/WxFnT2LTvk— ANI (@ANI) July 28, 2022
"So instead of remorse, from the highest leader of the Congress party, we find greater and greater aggression," the Finance Minister added.
"In every way, Congress party has been attempting to undermine a tribal, self-made, successful leader. We, from the BJP demand, the Congress party apologise to the nation," Ms Sitharaman said.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary said that he had mistakenly used the term "Rashtrapatni" and alleged that the ruling party was deliberately trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.
"I can't even think of insulting the President. It was just a mistake. If the President felt bad, I will personally meet her and apologise. They can hang me if they want. I am ready to get punished but why is she (Sonia Gandhi) being dragged in this," Mr Chowdhary said.
Sonia Gandhi said the Behrampore MP had already apologised.
To this Ms Sitharaman said, "She is misleading the country. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has been claiming that there is no need to apologise."
Meanwhile, Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi said that Sonia Gandhi was subjected to "shameful behaviour" by the BJP MPs.
"Today we saw a very shameful behaviour towards our leader Sonia Gandhi inside Lok Sabha. Objectionable slogans were raised against her. Being a fearless leader, Sonia Gandhi went to the women MPs, but BJP MPs behaved in a very ill-mannered way," Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi said.
"The party which raises slogans in the name of women, today they have shown how they have humiliated another woman (Sonia Gandhi). Our leader was humble and polite. If BJP thinks such small behaviour is going to affect her, it is their mistake," Mr Gogoi said.