Referring to President Draupadi Murmu as 'rashtrapatni' was a "slip of the tongue", Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said on Thursday and accused the BJP of making a "mountain out of a molehill" over the issue.
The term was used only once by mistake and he never intended any disrespect to the president, Chowdhury said as the BJP stalled both houses of Parliament and asked Congress president Sonia Gandhi to apologise to the nation.
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.
"What should I do? I said it and realised I uttered a wrong word. I even looked for mediapersons who I had said this to. to request them to not focus on it. However, I couldn't find them," he added, a day after the remark.
Some ruling party members, the Congress leader added, are "deliberately trying to make a mountain out of a molehill".
There is no question of an apology, he stated.
In a video message later, he said India's president, be it Brahmin or tribal, is respected by all.
Yesterday, when we were holding a protest at Vijay Chowk, journalists asked where we wanted to go. I said 'rashtrapatni' only once by mistake. I urged the journalists not to show my video where I committed a mistake. The BJP is creating a row over it now, he said.
According to Chowdhury, the BJP does not have anything on the party and is finding "masala" against it.
The issue is being blown out of proportion... I do not have the remotest intention of humiliating the highest chair of our country, Chowdhury said. PTI ASG SKC