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Lok Sabha members demand strict action against Azam Khan over sexist remarks directed at BJP MP Rama Devi

File photo of Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan. Photograph:( DNA )

WION Web Team Delhi Jul 26, 2019, 01.22 PM (IST)

Lok Sabha on Friday saw an uproar when MPs demanded exemplary action against Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan over his sexist remarks directed at BJP MP Rama Devi.

The remarks were later expunged as Rama Devi asked Khan to apologise.

Rama Devi said Azam Khan, being a repeat offender, should be dismissed by the Lok Sabha Speaker. "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.

Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said no one should be allowed to misbehave with a woman and get away with it by just dramatizing it. "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 dramatising it," she said.

"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'," she added.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also condemned the remarks. "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," she said.

TMC MP Mimi Chakraborty said that all women want Speaker to take action against Azam Khan.

"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," she said.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said he will call a meeting of leaders of all parties and then take a decision on this issue.

Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav defended his remarks. "I don't think any unparliamentary words were used yesterday. It was the BJP MPs who have used unparliamentary words and if they are willing to take their words back, I am ready to take my words back too if I have used any," said Akhilesh.

On Thursday, Azam Khan stoked controversy in the Lok Sabha with his objectionable remarks against BJP member Rama Devi, who was presiding over the House. He later tried to downplay the remarks, saying she was like a sister to him.

Azam Khan did not apologise and said he will resign if he had said anything unparliamentary. He also staged a walkout along with his party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

(With inputs from agencies)