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'Can't Misbehave & Get Away': Irani, Sitharaman Lash Out Against Azam Khan Over Sexist Remark

BJP MP Rama Devi was presiding over the proceedings on Thursday when Azam Khan made a sexist remark directed at her during a debate on the government's bill to ban instant triple talaq.


Updated:July 26, 2019, 5:29 PM IST
'Can't Misbehave & Get Away': Irani, Sitharaman Lash Out Against Azam Khan Over Sexist Remark
Smriti Irani in Lok Sabha on Friday

New Delhi: Raking up Azam Khan's sexist remark on BJP MP Rama Devi, Textiles minister Smriti Irani on Friday said that women, regardless of a party she belongs to, cannot be insulted. She further warned Khan that he can't misbehave and get away.

"If these comments were made outside, police would have arrested him," Irani said in Lok Sabha.

Earlier on Friday, BJP MP Rama Devi launched scathing attack on Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan for making objectionable remarks against her and demanded that he be dismissed from the Lok Sabha as he has “never respected women”.

“He has never respected women, we all know what he had said about Jaya Prada ji. He has no right to stay in Lok Sabha, I will request Speaker to dismiss him. Azam Khan must apologise,” Devi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

BJP parliamentarian Rama Devi, the officiating Speaker, was presiding over the proceedings on Thursday when Khan made a sexist remark directed at her during a debate on the government's bill to ban instant triple talaq.

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".

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 about 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".

As the Speaker listened to both sides, the Bahujan Samaj Party’s 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 BSP also walked out.

The Trinamool Congress’s Saugata Roy said what happened in Parliament now was not good.

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.

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

The National Commission For Women later slammed Khan for his "objectionable" remarks, with its chief Rekha Sharma calling from Khan's disqualification from Parliament.

"Azam Khan again did what he is good at... misbehaving and using inappropriate language for women and this time with none other than the woman sitting in the speaker's chair in parliament. I strongly condemn his disgraceful and sexist remark," she said in a tweet.

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.

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