The scene after the first adjournment of the Lok Sabha, when Gandhi walked dramatically to the treasury benches and chatted with Rama Devi, whom Congress leaders said he knew well. Soon Irani moved towards Gandhi and said something before the scene became tense and noisy and many MPs surrounded the area.
According to eyewitnesses among MPs, Gandhi said to Rama Devi, “Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary has already apologised. What is my fault?” They said, an Iranian came in and said: “Ma’am, may I help you?” I was the one who got your name.” “Don’t talk to me,” Gandhi replied, they said. Some other MPs said that Gandhi said: I am not talking to you. Another MP claimed that Irani replied to Gandhi: “How dare you! Don’t act like this! This is not your party’s office.” There was no official confirmation or denial from the two in the reported exchange, but the Congress and the BJP denied the brazen behavior of their respective leaders.
Supriya Sule (NCP) and Mahva Moitra (Trinamool) chased Gandhi out of the House and Minister Pralhad Joshi tried to disperse the agitating MPs from the “encounter”. A group of women Congress MPs later claimed at a news conference that BJP MPs had beaten and verbally assaulted Sonia Gandhi and demanded an apology from Irani. Geeta Koda said, “As those BJP MPs started shouting at Sonia Gandhi, she could have been injured. We somehow got her out. I apologize to Smriti Irani and PM Modi.”
Chowdhury attacked the government after the Iran-Gandhi exchange. “Who are these people in the BJP to lecture the country on morality? Everyone knows their record of insulting women. Who was it that repeatedly attacked Sonia ji in every election? Who called Renuka Chowdhury “Surpanaka” in Rajya Sabha? Who called the West Bengal President ‘O didi’? Who called someone ’50 crore Ka’s girlfriend’? These hypocrites should not preach.” Chowdhury later wrote a letter to Speaker M Birla demanding the suspension of BJP MLAs for their treatment of Gandhi and demanding a thorough inquiry into the matter by the Privileges Committee. This letter was signed by many congressmen. He also sought an appointment with the President. “I have the highest regard and respect for Honorable President Draupadi Murmuji. I will explain everything to her. If she continues to tell me that she is hurt by my remarks, I will apologize on the spot.”
In a statement, Congress spokesperson Jairam Ramesh said: “Sonia Gandhi was talking to BJP MP Rama Devi. Irani blocked Sonia Gandhi’s path and called her abusive words… When Sonia ji politely told her that “I’m not talking to you. I am talking to another MP, Smriti Irani shouted, “You don’t know me”… Is this the etiquette of a union minister in parliament? Can an agent not even talk to his colleague? “Smriti Irani is free to express his views in a politically favorable manner, but why is he behaving so horribly towards a senior MP and a party leader?”
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman demanded an apology from Sonia Gandhi, claiming that Chowdhury’s remarks were a “deliberate gender slur”. “Sonia Gandhi should apologize to the President of India and the country,” he said while talking to ANI at the Parliament complex.
When Sonia Gandhi came to our senior leader Rama Devi to find out what was going on, some members of the Lok Sabha felt threatened, one of our members approached and she (Sonia) said, “You are with me. You don’t speak.” He was quoted as saying by ANI.
Sule tweeted: “…Shocked to hear unnecessary slogans against Mrs. Gandhi after Parliament adjourned…” Moitra tweeted: “I was in the Lok Sabha when the 75-year-old senior lady was surrounded and hounded like a wolf pack. they did When all she did was go and talk to another senior lady president…”