28 Jul 2022

'Don't talk to me,' Sonia Gandhi told Smriti Irani in Parliament: Sources

In a dramatic confrontation in Parliament today over Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury calling President Droupadi Murma "Rashtrapatni", Congress president Sonia Gandhi walked across the house to speak to the BJP MP. When Smriti Irani allegedly intervened, Sonia Gandhi said "Don't talk to me", according to sources.
The heated exchange took place during a recess in the Lok Sabha, which was adjourned amid loud protests by BJP MPs against Soni Gandhi and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

"Sonia Gandhi, apologize," Smriti Irani said in the house as members of the ruling BJP held placards.

"Sonia Gandhi, you approved the humiliation of Droupadi Murma. Sonia approved the humiliation of a woman in the highest constitutional office," the Union minister said.

After the Speaker of the Lok Sabha adjourned the house, Sonia Gandhi was about to leave when she decided to go to the BJP MPs who were shouting slogans. Two members of Congress were with her.

In a stunning move, the Congress president crossed the floor of the House and reportedly told BJP MP Rama Devi: "Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has already apologised. Why am I being dragged into this?"

Sources say that Smriti Irani intervened and said, "Madam, can I help you? I have taken your name."

BJP benches erupted in protests and opposition members retaliated.

Trinamool Congress MLAs and NCP's Supriya Sule were seen leading Sonia Gandhi away from screaming BJP members. Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi later stepped in to calm the situation.

In her retelling of the incident, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman criticized Sonia Gandhi: "Some of our Lok Sabha MPs felt threatened when Sonia Gandhi came to our supreme leader Rama Devi to find out what was going on and one of our members approached her." there and she (Sonia Gandhi) said - You are not talking to me - she put our MP in the house. So instead of recriminations from the Congress party's top leader, we find more aggression."

"Union Minister Smriti Irani behaved rudely and offensively in Lok Sabha today! But will the speaker condemn it? Rules are only for the opposition," Congress chief Jairam Ramesh tweeted.

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