'Don't talk to me': Sonia Gandhi rebuffs Smriti Irani in Lok Sabha
New Delhi: Amid a stir in Lok Sabha over Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury calling President Droupadi Murmu 'Rashtrapatni' a scene of dramatic confrontation emerged when Congress President Sonia Gandhi repulsed Union minister Smriti Irani's attempt to talk to her as she approached a woman BJP MP.
The House was adjourned as BJP MPs clamoured for an apology by Sonia Gandhi and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury over the latter's remark and demonstrated inside the Parliament with 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.
After the House was adjourned, Sonia Gandhi was about to leave but suddenly changed her course and approached BJP MP Rama Devi, crossing the floor.
Sonia Gandhi confronted Rama Devi why she was being accused when Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had already apologised.
"Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had already apologised. What is my fault?" the Congress leader asked.
This is when, Union minister and Amethi MP Smriti Irani cut in and said, "Madam, may I help you? I took your name."
To which, Sonia Gandhi retorted: "Don't talk to me."
According to media reports, a Congress leader claimed Sonia Gandhi was having a polite conversation with Rama Devi when Smriti Irani came with pointed fingers and said, "How dare you, don't behave like this, this is not your party office..."
The Congress leader said Sonia Gandhi told Smriti Irani twice, "I am not talking to you"
After which, the BJP leaders surrounded and heckled Sonia Gandhi and the situation turned volatile, claim Congress leaders.
Trinamool Congress MPs Mahua Moitra and Aparupa Poddar and NCP's Supriya Sule were seen drawing Sonia Gandhi away from the shouting BJP members, said media reports.
Later, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshiintervened in to defuse the situation.
According to media reports Sonia Gandhi said she went to speak to Rama Devi as she knew her.
"I am not afraid. I know Rama Devi so I went to tell her Adhir has apologised and why are you attacking me?" Sonia Gandhi said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman related the incident, and slammed Sonia Gandhi: "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 and she (Sonia Gandhi) said - You don't talk to me - putting our MP down in the house. So instead of remorse from the highest leader of the Congress party, we find greater aggression."
#WATCH | 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": Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pic.twitter.com/WxFnT2LTvk— ANI (@ANI) July 28, 2022
Furious Congress leaders accused Smriti Irani of attacking their party chief.
"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.
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
TMC's Mohua Mitra said Sonia Gandhi was "heckled & encircled pack-wolf style".
Was in Lok Sabha when 75 year old lady senior leader encircled & heckled pack-wolf style when all she did was walk over & speak (masked) to another senior lady panel chairperson.— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) July 28, 2022
Disgusted to read BJP lies & false version in press.