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Uproar in LS over Azam Khan's sexist remark on BJP's Rama Devi

Last updated on: July 25, 2019 20:06 IST

Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan on Thursday courted a fresh controversy when he made a sexist remark against Bharatiya Janata Party MP Rama Devi who was in the Chair in the Lok Sabha sparking an uproar and demands for his apology.

IMAGE: Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan speaks in Lok Sabha during the ongoing budget session of Parliament, in New Delhi.

The National Commission For Women and the Delhi Commission For Women condemned Khan's comment, dubbing it "lecherous and disgraceful".

Participating in the debate on the triple talaq bill, Khan referred to the intervention of Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and read out a couplet "... tu idhar-udhar ki baat na kar ..." (do not divert from the topic).

At this, Rama Devi, who was presiding over the proceedings, asked Khan not to "look here and there" and address the Chair.

To this, the SP member made a sexist remark at the Chair, triggering acrimonious scenes.


Rama Devi later directed that Khan's remark be removed from the records.

She, however, said she is like his (Azam Khan's) younger sister.

Khan's remark infuriated Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Arjun Ram Meghwal as they urged the Chair to ask him to apologise.

When Khan was asked to do so by Rama Devi, he said he meant no disrespect to her as she was like his "dear sister".

During the Lok Sabha poll campaign, Khan, who is known to making controversial statements, had made objectionable remarks against actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada who contested on a BJP ticket.

The police lodged an FIR against Khan for insulting the modesty of a woman.

SP chief Akhilesh Yadav rose to defend Khan.

Meanwhile, speaker Om Birla took over the proceedings.

Yadav said there was no intention to malign the Chair, sparking protests by the BJP members.

He then made a remark on the conduct of BJP members.

The speaker took objection to the remark reminding Yadav that he had been a chief minister and should be mindful of words which were unparliamentary.

He also asked the SP chief, a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, to apologise.

Yadav said the word he used was first used by the treasury benches.

The speaker asked him to point out the member who used the term and asked the SP leader to apologise.

Khan said he has spent a long time in politics and if he has used any unparliamentary language, he is ready to resign "immediately".

IMAGE: BJP MP Rama Devi was officiating as the speaker in Lok Sabha when Azam Khan made sexist remark.

As the speaker listened to both sides, Bahujan Samaj Party MP Danish Ali walked out of the House, saying he was not allowed to speak.

Khan joined him in the walkout, saying he cannot speak when he was being insulted.

Later, members of the SP and the BSP walked out.

Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy said what happened in Parliament now was not good.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, said it is not good if if members of the minority community leave the House when the triple talaq bill is being discussed.

Birla said maintaining the dignity of the House is the responsibility of all members.

"A party may have more numbers, but the House runs on consensus ... members want remarks to be expunged. But we should not make statements which have to be expunged. When people hear such statements, they form an opinion about MPs," he said.

Earlier, participating in the debate, Danish Ali said something about BJP members not giving rights to women. But his remarks were expunged by Rama Devi.

BJP MPs protested against Ali's remark, saying he was making "personal allegations".

National Commission For Women chairperson Rekha Sharma said Khan should be disqualified from Parliament.

"#AzamKhan again did what he is good at..misbehaving and using inappropriate language for women and this time with none other than woman sitting on speaker's chair in parliament. I strongly condemn his
disgraceful and sexist remark. He must get disqualified from Parliament," Shah posted on Twitter.

Delhi Commission For Women chief Swati Maliwal also hit out at the former Uttar Pradesh minister and said he should be sent to jail for his "lecherous comment".

"Shame on Azam Khan. Such lecherous comment against MP sitting on Speaker Chair. A man with such notorious reputation of vile speech against women has no right to be in Parliament. When will Centre
create law to arrest such politicians? Send this man 2 mental asylum and then jail!" she tweeted.

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