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MoS of Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal (Photo/ANI)
MoS of Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal (Photo/ANI)

Adhir Ranjan's apology to President Murmu not enough, Sonia Gandhi should apologise: Union Minister Meghwal

By Payal Mehta | Updated: Jul 29, 2022 22:05 IST

New Delhi [India], July 29 (ANI): Following Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's tendering an apology to President Droupadi Murmu over his controversial "Rashtrapatni" remark, Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal on Friday said the apology of Chowdhury is not enough and Congress president Sonia Gandhi should apologise.
On Friday evening Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, whose remark created a political storm, wrote a letter of apology calling his utterance a slip of tongue.
Meghwal insisted that Sonia Gandhi should apologise as Chowdhury, who is Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, has been appointed by her.
"This is a matter concerning the House and the demand has been from the House that Sonia Gandhi must apologise. So the apology by Adhir Ranjan by writing a letter to the President of India does is not enough," Meghwal told ANI.
He referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi disapproving remarks of Union minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti in 2014 even as she had apologised.
"The Congress party raised the issue of a comment made by Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti demanding an apology from the Prime Minister since she was a member of the party. The Prime Minister had issued a statement. How can it be a different benchmark? Adhir has been appointed as a leader of the party in the House by Sonia Gandhi so we were demanding that she should offer an unconditional apology," Meghwal said.
Chowdhury's "Rashtrapatni" remarks, which he made to a news channel, created a political storm on Thursday with the BJP raising it strongly in both Houses of Parliament.
Chowdhury had earlier said there is no question of apologising as he had mistakenly made the remarks. He later said he will apologise to President Droupadi Murmu.
"I am writing to express my regret for having mistakenly used an incorrect word to describe the position you hold. I assure you that it was a slip of tongue. I apologise and request you to accept the same," Chowdhury said in his letter to the President.
Chowdhury on Friday slammed the BJP "dragging" Sonia Gandhi in the controversy over his remarks.
"I am waiting for BJP to term me terrorist and arrest me under UAPA. They want to become champions of tribals but hide how murders are happening. Laws brought under Sonia Gandhi are being changed. They are working against tribals," he said.

"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?" he asked.
Union Minister Smriti Irani slammed Chowdhury and Sonia Gandhi in Lok Sabha on Thursday.
"Sonia Gandhi, you sanctioned the humiliation of Droupadi Murmu. Soniaji sanctioned the humiliation of a woman in the highest constitutional post. Soniaji sanctioned the humiliation of a poor woman who ascends to the highest office in this country. You sanctioned the insult of every Indian citizen. You through your male Congress workers and leaders continue to demean the Office of the President of India. Apologise to the nation. Sonia Gandhi apologise to the tribal, poor and woman of the country," she said.
BJP women MPs on Thursday filed a complaint with the Lok Sabha Speaker against Sonia Gandhi who allegedly shouted at Smrti Irani after the Union minister reportedly intervened as the Congress interim president was speaking to BJP MP Rama Devi.
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told ANI, "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".
"So instead of remorse, from the highest leader of the Congress party, we find greater and greater aggression," Sitharaman said.
The union minister said that "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".
Sonia Gandhi said on Thursday that Behrampore MP had already apologised.
Following the controversy, Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi said that Sonia Gandhi was subjected to "shameful behaviour" by the BJP MPs.
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday said the Chowdhury's remarks were not a slip of tongue. "It was not a slip of tongue. If you watch the clip, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury clearly (referred to President Murmu as) 'Rashtrapati' twice, then he called her 'Rashtrapatni," Rijiju told ANI.
National Commission for Women chief Rekha Sharma on Thursday called the 'Rashtrapatni' remark by Chowdhury as "sexist" and stated that it shows his "mindset towards women".
Sharma said that the Congress leader "must apologise in writing" and called upon Sonia Gandhi to take action against him. (ANI)