New Delhi: Two days after facing criticism of BJP members for calling Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as “Nirbala” (weak), Congress leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday tendered an apology, saying “I express my regret if she is hurt by my words”.
The Congress leader’s apology came during a debate on the supplementary demands for grants (first batch) for 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha.
“I had addressed our Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as ‘Nirbala’. Nirmala ji is like my sister and I am like her brother. If my words have hurt her, then I express my regret,” Chowdhury said.
His apology followed criticism of Bharatiya Janata Party lawmakers on Monday when he called the Finance Minister “Nirbala” after which the treasury benches sought his “unconditional apology” for the remark.
Chowdhury made the remarks on Monday hours after the House held a serious discussion over gruesome rape and murder of a Hyderabad veterinary doctor.
The controversy erupted when Chowdhury was speaking during a discussion on Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill.
On Tuesday, BJP leader Poonam Mahajan also slammed Chowdhury who called him weak and not Nirmala Sitharaman, and sought his apology. The Congress leader then did not tender his apology, saying he made his remarks in another context.