Sonia Gandhi, Smriti Irani face-off in Lok Sabha post adjournment

A face-off between Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Union minister Smriti Irani in the Lok Sabha chamber on Thursday added fuel to the already raging row over Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s remark on President Droupadi Murmu.

Chowdhury’s reference to Murmu, India’s first tribal President, as “Rashtrapatni” triggered a war of words between the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi demanding an apology from Gandhi.As the Lok Sabha adjourned soon after 12 noon, Gandhi walked across to the Treasury benches and sought to know from BJP member Rama Devi why she was dragged into the issue.

Irani stepped in and was seen gesturing towards Gandhi and apparently protesting against Chowdhury’s remark. Gandhi at first tried to ignore Irani’s protestations, but soon was seen gesturing towards the minister and speaking angrily.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman claimed that Gandhi told a BJP member not to talk to her. However, the Union minister did not name any BJP leader.NCP member Supriya Sule and Trinamool member Aparupa Poddar were seen escorting the Congress president away from the Treasury benches as BJP members flocked around Rama Devi and Gandhi.

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