New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) MP and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Rama Devi has said that she will never forgive Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan, who made sexist remarks against her in the lower House on Thursday. Khan has been reportedly asked to tender an apology for his remarks against the BJP MP or else face suspension from the House.
Speaking to a news channel, Devi said that the SP leader was asked to apologise by me, the Speaker and by several MPs but he chose to walk out of the House. “His gesture indicates that he is not sorry and his heart is filled with ego. He would have apologised then and there, if he was truthful,” the BJP leader said. (‘Bapu Asked us to Stay, Now It’s Tumhara Sthan Kabristan ya Pakistan,’ Says Azam Khan)
Furthermore, Devi said that she has the power to face a person like him. “The chair on which I sat belongs to all. Not just me. He has used such language for all the women in the country. The people of my parliamentary constituency have reposed faith in me and elected me. I have the power to face a man like you [Khan],” LS Deputy speaker told ANI.
Rama Devi also slammed SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, who had backed Azam Khan, saying,”There was no intention to malign the Chair.”
“Not only us, but he also said this to the whole country… His language shows his ego and arrogance. He should not say such things, he was a chief minister earlier. He said all this to protect Azam Khan. Nobody will appreciate this… Lok Sabha is a respected place. A person goes there after being voted by people,” said the BJP leader.
How The Controversy Erupted
During the debate on the Triple Talaq Bill in the Lower House on Thursday, Rama Devi had asked Azam Khan to speak while looking at the Chair and address the House through the presiding officer. Azam Khan, however, made remarks that were perceived to be sexist by the treasury benches, triggering strong objections. The Rampur MP, in his defence, had said Rama Devi was like a sister to him.
Chorus Grows For Azam Khan’s Suspension
Speaking in Lok Sabha Union 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.
“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.
“Azam Khan should apologise or else he should be suspended from Lok Sabha, this is our demand,” Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said in Lok Sabha yesterday.
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.”