New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dig at Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury left parliamentarians bursting into laughter in the middle of his speech in the Rajya Sabha. Ms Chowdhury, who had been laughing at PM Modi, was stunned into silence.
- Congress's Renuka Chowdhury continued to laugh during PM Modi's speech
- He joked 'since Ramayan show, we heard this kind of laughter only today'
- Her loud chuckles also infuriated Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu
The Congress leader's loud chuckling had infuriated Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu, who stopped PM Modi mid-sentence to admonish the 63-year-old. "What happened to you," Mr Naidu asked Ms Chowdhury sternly, declaring that "unruly behavior and loose talk" would not be allowed.
Even when being told off by Mr Naidu, Ms Chowdhury was heard laughing.
PM Modi cut in and urged Mr Naidu not to stop Ms Chowdhury.
"Sabhapati ji 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 Ramayan serial, we got the privilege of hearing this kind of laughter only today," he said, to the amusement of top BJP leaders and other ministers sitting around him.
Ms Chowdhury was heard protesting the PM's jibe. "What more can you expect from him? It is established that the BJP is against women. When I laughed, it hurt because it was the laughter of truth," she told reporters outside the house.
Union Minister Smriti Irani rebutted: "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?"
The serial Ramayan, based on the epic chronicling the life of god-king Rama, was hugely popular among the masses in the late 1980s.
While deriding Ms Chowdhury's laughter, PM Modi avoided names and left everyone guessing which character he had likened the Congress leader to.
In his statements in the two houses during a debate on President Ram Nath Kovind's speech, PM Modi ripped into the Congress and accused the party of dedicating itself to "the interests of one family" at the cost of the nation.