The BJP on Thursday accused the Congress of “demeaning” President Draupadi Murmu and demanded its apology after its leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury called her “rashtrapatni”.
Union minister Smriti Irani said Chowdhury used the term knowing well that it demeans Murmu and her office and is against India’s values.
The Congress should apologize to the President and the country, she told reporters.
“A tribal woman from a poor family who created history is being continuously demeaned by the Congress,” she told reporters.
Chowdhury is the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha and used the remark while talking to the media during his party’s protests over a host of issues.
Irani alleged that the Congress has been targeting her “maliciously” ever since the BJP-led NDA named Murmu its presidential candidate, and said she was called a “puppet” and a “symbol of evil” by its leaders.
The attacks do not seem to stop even after her election to the highest constitutional office of the country, the BJP leader said.
Chowdhry’s comment is also demeaning to the rich tribal legacy she represents and to the poor who rise through hard work.
The President is called “rashtrapati” in Hindi.
Murmu, India’s first tribal President, had led a life of struggle and represented the country’s aspirations from panchayat to Parliament, Irani said and charged that the Congress under its president Sonia Gandhi has repeatedly targeted women.