In the middle of chaos today in parliament over Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury calling President Droupadi Murmu “Rashtrapatni”, Congress president Sonia Gandhi walked across the house to speak to a BJP MP but had to be led away as she faced heated slogan-shouting from Smriti Irani and others.
The dramatic scenes took place during a break in Lok Sabha, which had been adjourned amid loud protests by BJP MPs against Sonia Gandhi and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
“Sonia Gandhi, apologise,” Smriti Irani said in the house, with members of the ruling BJP holding up placards.
“Sonia Gandhi, you sanctioned the humiliation of Droupadi Murmu. Sonia ji sanctioned humiliation of a woman in the highest constitutional post,” the Union Minister said.
In the unrelenting crossfire, the Lok Sabha Speaker adjourned the house.
Sonia Gandhi, in a stunning move, crossed the floor of the House to speak to BJP MP Rama Devi and clarify that Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had already apologised.
Smriti Irani and other MPs intervened and raised slogans as the Congress president approached the treasury benches.
That is when Trinamool Congress MPs and NCP’s Supriya Sule drew Sonia Gandhi away from the shouting BJP members. Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi later stepped in to defuse the situation.
Outside the house, asked whether Mr Chowdhury would apologise, Sonia Gandhi told NDTV: “He has already apologised.”
Later, Congress leaders accused Smriti Irani of attacking their party chief.
आज लोकसभा में केंद्रीय मंत्री स्मृति ईरानी ने अमर्यादित और अपमानजनक व्यवहार किया! लेकिन क्या स्पीकर इसकी निंदा करेंगे? क्या नियम सिर्फ विपक्ष के लिए होते हैं?
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) July 28, 2022
“Union Minister Smriti Irani behaved indecently and abusively in Lok Sabha today! But will the speaker condemn it? Are rules only for the opposition,” tweeted Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.