Congress leader refers to Fin Min Nirmala Sitharaman as ‘Nirbala’

New Delhi: Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, made yet another controversial remark on Monday when he asked Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman if he should refer to her as ‘Nirbala’ instead of ‘Nirmala’ because, he reasoned, the minister allegedly has a hard time speaking her mind.

Chowdhury said to the Finance Minister in Lok Sabha on Monday, “Aapke liye respect toh hai lekin kabhi kabhi sochta hu ki aapko Nirmala Sitharaman ki jagah ‘Nirbala’ Sitharaman kehna theek hoga ke nahi (I do have respect for you but sometimes I wonder if it would be apt to call you ‘Nirbala Sitharaman’ instead of ‘Nirmala Sitharaman’).” After this, he put his reason across for saying so, adding “Aap mantri pad pe toh hai lekin jo aapke man mein hai wo keh bhi paati hai ya nahi (You hold the post of a Minister but I wonder if you have a hard time speaking your mind).”

The Congress leader’s comments brought in a storm of protests from the ruling BJP which claimed that it was disrespectful to speak of a Union Minister in such a manner and demanded an apology, especially considering the fact that Chowdhury had made another controversial remark.

We listen to criticism: Nirmala Sitharaman

The government listens to criticism and wants to respond to it, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in parliament in the middle of a row over industrialist Rahul Bajaj’s question to Home Minister Amit Shah at an event. She referred to “Amit Shah’s reply to an industrialist” as she responded to a debate on the state of the economy. “I was on the dais. It was with the attitude that we are willing to hear criticism and respond to it, rather than say you can’t speak at all. ” the Finance Minister said.

BJP seeks apology for infiltrators remark

BJP members in Lok Sabha on Monday protested against Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah as “infiltrators” and sought his apology, saying they will not tolerate such an “insult”.

Members of treasury benches were on their feet as Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi attacked the Leader of the Congress in the House and then took a swipe at the party over its President Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin by dubbing her an “infiltrator”. Joshi said he is forced to draw this inference that the Congress led by an infiltrator will pursue others in a similar manner.