Advani was initiating a debate over the Assam violence on the opening day of the monsoon session of parliament when he called the UPA government as "illegitimate".
It was enough to infuriate Gandhi, who exhibited a never-before-seen aggression inside the house, asking Advani to withdraw his remark.
Gandhi, who has led the UPA for the last eight years, took the reins in her hands as it was the first day for Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde as leader of the house. She took on Advani.
The BJP leader's clarification that he had referred to the 2008 confidence vote over the India-US nuclear deal when the cash-for-vote episode was played out did not pacify the Congress chief.
She kept loudly saying "no, no", insisting that he withdraw his remarks.
She also egged her party and UPA colleague, leading to a shouting match. Speaker Meira Kumar had to adjourn the house for an hour.
Shinde addressed Advani as "a senior respected leader" and asked him to consider if his remarks were acceptable.
With Advani not relenting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal raised a point of order over the BJP leader digressing from the subject of his adjournment motion.
BJP's Sushma Swaraj, the leader of the opposition, came to Advani's defence saying he was speaking on the failure of the UPA government and he had a right to refer to the 2008 confidence vote.
Amid pandemonium, Advani rose to clarify that he was not referring to the 2009 general election which the UPA won but to the 2008 confidence vote. He also relented to withdraw his remark.
Meira Kumar said the phrase would be expunged from official records of the house.