- Some of our LS MPs felt threatened when Sonia came up to our senior leader, Sitharaman said
- Can't even think of insulting the President. It was just a mistake, said Congress' AR Chowdhury
- Congress MPs are likely to meet Lok Sabha Speaker to complain against BJP MPs, reports said
Sonia Gandhi-Smriti Irani face-off: Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman aggressively hit out at the Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi over her argument '...don't talk to me' when was approached by Smriti Irani asking her '...May I help you'.
Speaking to reports, Nirmala Sitharaman said, "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".
Clarifying on the matter, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury 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 & apologise. They can hang me if they want. I am ready to get punished but why is she (Sonia Gandhi) being dragged in this?"
"...I accepted my mistake...What do they say about Sonia Gandhi during polls? About Shashi Tharoor's wife? About Renuka Chowdhury? I sought time from President, might get the appointment the day after tomorrow, I'll speak with her personally," AR Chowdhury said.
Meanwhile, Congress MPs are likely to meet Lok Sabha Speaker to complain against BJP MPs and Council of Ministers who were present in the confrontation with Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi. They'll ask that the matter be sent to privilege committee and video footage of the incident be inspected.
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju also spoke on the matter and said, "when she has assumed office of the President, no further remarks should be made. Adhir Ranjan has hurt the dignity of the President with his remark. Not only he but the entire Congress party, and its president Sonia Gandhi, should apologise to the nation."
"We strongly condemn the manner in which Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury addressed the President. We've been seeing Congress' comments since the day she was nominated for the post. One Congress spox said that "her selection represents the evil philosophy of India," Rijiju added.
Moreover, National Commission for Women (NCW) has sent a notice to Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to appear before it in person and to tender a written explanation for his remarks. The hearing is scheduled for August 3, at 11:30 AM.
NCW has also written to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi to intervene in the matter and to take appropriate action against Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for his derogatory remark.