New Delhi: Samajwadi leader Azam Khan has landed himself into a controversy after he made sexist remarks against BJP MP Rama Devi. On Friday, during a Parliament session, a host of leaders criticised the SP leader for his comments, with some asking for his suspension from the Lower House.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that either Azam Khan render apologies for his statement or he be suspended from the Lok Sabha. “Azam Khan should apologize or else he should be suspended from Lok Sabha, this is our demand,” the Law Minister said.
Joining the chorus, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “Congress party is against disrespect of women. There have been incidents when Sonia Gandhi Ji was called ‘Italy ki katputli’ etc. in Parliament.”
Textiles minister Smriti Irani asserted that no woman, irrespective of which party she belongs to, can be insulted. “If these comments were made outside, police would have arrested him,” Irani said in Lok Sabha.
“The entire nation watched yesterday what happened. This House passed the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill. I appeal to all to speak in one voice- You cannot misbehave with a woman and get away with it by just dramatizing it. Let us not reduce this to a problem of just women. This is a blot on all legislators including men. This is not a House where men come in and ‘Kisi aurat ki aankhon mein jhanka jaye’,” Irani added.
TMC MP Mimi Chakraborty said, “Nobody can stand in the Parliament and tell a woman “look into my eyes and talk.” Speaker sir, all women here are expecting something big from you on this.”
Rama Devi, on whom Azam Khan made sexist remarks, called for his dismissal from the Lok Sabha. “He has never respected women, we all know what he had said about Jaya Prada. He has no right to stay in the Lok Sabha, I will request the Speaker to dismiss him. Azam Khan must apologise,” Rama Devi said.
Nirmala Sitharaman said “It is very encouraging to see everyone stand up and speak in once voice condemning what happened yesterday. We look towards you (LS Speaker) for exemplary action against him.
“To politicize an issue related to women is outrageous, we have to stand together so why the hesitation in some? Why the dilemma? Why add riders? I am not naming anyone for ppl( pointing towards Congress MPs) to interrupt my speech,” the finance minister added.
BSP Chief Mayawati also retorted to Azam Khan’s remarks, saying that “his statement is against the dignity of women, it is hurtful.” She added, “It is highly condemnable, he should not only apologize to the Lok Sabha but also to all women.”
Khan on Friday stoked a controversy while he was addressing BJP MP Rama Devi (who was presiding over the session) in the Lower House. “Aap mujhe itni achchhi lagti hain ki mera mann karta hai ki aap ki aankhon mein aankhein dale rahoon (I am so fond of you that I always feel like looking into your eyes),” the SP leader told the BJP MP.
Devi was quick to react. She reprimanded Khan and said, “This is not the way to speak, please expunge these remarks,” to which the SP MP said, “You are very respected, you are like my sister.”
Hitting out at Khan, Speaker Om Birla had also said, “It is very easy for all of you to demand ‘expunge this, expunge that’, but why should the need to expunge arise at all? Once a remark is given, it is already in the public domain. Therefore, we all should speak keeping the dignity of the Parliament in mind.”