Sonia-Smriti face-off: Cong MPs protest on Parliament premises, demand govt apology

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Minister Smriti Irani and Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi | ANI

New Delhi: Congress MPs staged a protest in front of the Gandhi statue in Parliament on Friday to demand an apology from the government following the face-off between Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Union minister Smriti Irani.

On Thursday, the raging row over Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury calling President Droupadi Murmu "rashtrapatni" escalated with the opposition party accusing BJP MPs of subjecting its president to "brutal heckling, verbal assault and physical intimidation" in the Lok Sabha.

Congress MPs, protesting against the alleged misbehaviour with Gandhi, were joined by their colleagues from the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).

Chowdhury's remark on India's first tribal president has drawn a fresh battleline between the Congress and the BJP, which has demanded an apology from Sonia Gandhi.

As the Lok Sabha adjourned soon after 12 noon on Thursday, Gandhi walked across to the treasury benches and sought to know from BJP member Rama Devi why she was dragged into the issue.

Irani intervened and was seen gesturing towards Gandhi and apparently protesting Chowdhury's remark. Gandhi tried to ignore Irani's protestations, but was soon seen gesturing towards the minister and speaking angrily. PTI

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