Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury apologises to President over ‘Rashtrapatni’ remark

Adhir Chowdhury

Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has apologised to President Droupadi Murmu for referring to her as “Rashtrapatni” while talking to a reporter earlier this week.

“I am writing to express my regret for having mistakenly used an incorrect word to describe the position you hold. I assure you that it was a slip of the tongue. I apologise and request you to accept the same,” Mr Chowdhury wrote in a letter to President Murmu.

The BJP had raised the issue, saying Chowdhury was deliberately tarnishing a tribal and woman who has become a President, besides calling the remark sexist and against women. The ruling party had demanded an apology from Chowdhury for his comments.

Chowdhury has been reiterating that he made a slip of tongue as Hindi was not his mother tongue and he was not good at the language.

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“I inadvertently used the word ‘rashtrapatni’ just once and it was a slip of the tongue. I never meant any disrespect to the President,” he told reporters outside Parliament, a day after making the remark. “What should I do? I said it and realised I uttered a wrong word. I even looked for mediapersons to request them to not focus on it. However, I couldn’t find them.”

The remark snowballed into a major controversy as the BJP vociferously targeted him and the party, leading to a brief war of words between Union Minister Smriti Irani and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

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