Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury Issues Clarification Over His Rashtrapatni Remark, Calls It 'Slip Of Tongue'

Rashtrapatni Remark Row: In a video message, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said he "do not have the remotest intention of humiliating" the President, adding that he said 'Rashtrapatni' only once by mistake.

By Aalok Sensharma
Updated: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 01:32 PM IST
Minute Read
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury Issues Clarification Over His Rashtrapatni Remark, Calls It 'Slip Of Tongue'
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in Lok Sabha (Photo: ANI)

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Thursday issued a clarification after referring to President Droupadi Murmu as 'Rashtrapatni', calling it a "slip of the tongue" as he accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of making a "mountain out of a molehill" over the issue.

In a video message, the Lok Sabha MP said India's President, be it Brahmin or tribal, is respected by all. He said he "do not have the remotest intention of humiliating" the President, adding that he said 'Rashtrapatni' only once by mistake.

"Yesterday, when we were holding a protest at Vijay Chowk, journalists asked where we wanted to go. I said 'rashtrapatni' only once by mistake. I urged the journalists not to show my video where I committed a mistake. The BJP is creating a row over it now," Chowdhury said.

"The issue is being blown out of proportion... I do not have the remotest intention of humiliating the highest chair of our country," he said, adding that the BJP is finding "masala" against it.

Chowdhury, 66, on Wednesday referred to President Droupadi Murmu as "Rashtrapatni". His remarks caused a huge row in the Parliament, with the BJP demanding his and Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi's apology.

BJP MPs, including Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Agriculture Shobha Karandlaje, also stagged a protest against Chowdhury and termed his remarks a "s*xist insult", calling the grand old party "anti-tribal, anti-Dalit and anti-women".

"Chowdhury's comments were not a slip of tongue. It was a deliberate s*xist insult against the President," Sitharaman said in a brief statement in Rajya Sabha. "I demand an apology from the president of the Congress party who herself is a woman."

However, Sonia - who was recently questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the National Herald case - defended Chowdhury and said the Congress MP has already apologised for his remarks.

"He has already apologised," she said, as reported by news agency ANI.

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