India

Congress demands apology from Smriti Irani

 Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. File

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has written a letter to Speaker Om Birla demanding that Union Minister Smriti Irani unconditionally apologise for not using honorifics or prefixes while referring to President Droupadi Murmu during an intervention she made in Lok Sabha last week.

Mr. Chowdhury, in an attempt to end the controversy over his alleged remarks against Ms. Murmu, said in the letter that his statement was a “slip of tongue” and the controversy over that was “unnecessary and unwarranted.” “This inadvertent mistake happened because I am not very good at Hindi. I have regretted my mistake and have apologised to the Hon’ble President,” Mr. Chowdhury said.

He, however, questioned the speech of Ms. Irani and said she took the name of the President in Lok Sabha in a manner that didn’t suit the status and position of the President. “She was yelling ‘Droupadi Murmu’ repeatedly without prefixing Hon’ble President or Madam or Smt. before the Hon’ble President’s name. This clearly amounts to degrading the stature of the office of the Hon’ble President,” Mr. Chowdhury said in the letter. “Therefore, I demand that Smt. Smriti Irani may tender unconditional apology to the Hon’ble President for her disrespectful remarks and for lowering the dignity and stature of the Hon’ble President’s office,” he added.

Mr. Chowdhury had written to Ms. Murmu last week to express his regret “for having mistakenly used an incorrect word” to describe her position. “I assure you that it was a slip of tongue,” Mr. Chowdhury said in the letter to Ms. Murmu. In his letter to Mr. Birla, Mr. Chowdhury said the error occurred because he was not well-versed with Hindi as his mother tongue is Bengali.

Mr. Chowdhury added in the letter that Congress president Sonia Gandhi had nothing to do with that unfortunate episode and yet Ms. Irani and the BJP deliberately dragged her name into the controversy. He said Ms. Gandhi was subjected to verbal assault and physical intimidation. He urged Mr. Birla to expunge her name wherever it was taken up by Ms. Irani and other BJP members last week.

Both the Houses of Parliament are supposed to discuss price rise and GST on milk products this week.


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Printable version | Aug 1, 2022 8:22:45 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/now-congress-demands-iranis-apology-for-calling-president-by-her-name/article65708217.ece