'No slip of tongue': Kiren Rijiju on Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury remark on President
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had said that his comment on President Droupadi Murmu - which has drawn wide condemnation - was a slip of tongue.
Union minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday slammed the Congress’s Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury amid controversy over his comments on President Droupadi Murmu. The Congress leader has drawn wide criticism for his remark on Murmu, India’s first tribal woman president.
Chowdhury said the comment - that was labeled as sexist - was a “slip of tongue”. BJP leaders have been protesting the remark since Thursday, in parliament and outside.
“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 corrected himself to say 'Rashtrapatni.' Such matters should not be taken lightly,” Law minister Rijiju was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
“He is an anti-national and anti-tribal person. And how can he trivialise this issue by saying that he can go to the President and seek an apology? Is it that simple? It is condemnable,” the union minister further added.
Amid huge uproar, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Thursday said her party colleague had apologised.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had also said the comment was not a slip of tongue but a deliberate act to insult the President of India. “It is a sexist comment and the Congress leadership should apologise,” she said speaking outside Parliament.
Among others who have sought "apology to India" for Chowdhury's comments are .chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, including Yogi Adityanath, Jairam Thakur, and others.
Reacting to his statement, Chowdhury said he mistakenly said ‘Rashtrapatni’. “...the ruling party in a deliberate design trying to make mountain out of a molehill,” he told media persons.
Droupadi Murmu was sworn in as India's 15th president earlier this week.
(With inputs from ANI)