Samajwadi Party lawmaker Azam Khan on Monday apologised for the embarrassing sexist remarks he made against BJP lawmaker Rama Devi.
The Deputy Speaker, who had earlier said she will never forgive Khan, today said that his remark has “hurt both women and men in India”.
“He will not understand this, his behaviour is spoiled. I have not come here to hear such comments,” Rama Devi hit back sharply.
Azam Khan had last Thursday, during a debate on the triple talaq bill in Lok Sabha, said that “he wanted to keep looking into her eyes”, a remark which drew objections from the treasury benches, who demanded an apology from the Rampur MP.
Objecting to the remark, Rama Devi, the MP from Bihar’s Sheohar, chided him, saying that was not the way to speak and ordered the remarks be expunged.
In response, Azam Khan said: “You are much respected. You are like my sister.”
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday said the House belongs to all and that it runs on the support from everyone. He also warned the members to refrain from using language that affects the dignity of the House.
The BJP had earlier demanded “exemplary action” against Azam Khan.
Women MPs, Smriti Irani, TMC’s Mimi Chakraborty raised objections to Khan’s remarks calling them “disrespectful”. They were backed by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who asked the Speaker to take exemplary action against the SP leader.
BJP leader Smriti Irani said this was not just a problem of women but a “blot on all legislators including men”.
TMC MP, Mimi Chakraborty seconded Smriti Irani saying, “Nobody can stand in the Parliament and tell a woman ‘look into my eyes and talk’”. She further said the women leaders in the House are expecting an appropriate action from the Speaker.
Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said it was very encouraging to see everyone stand up and speak in once voice condemning the incident and asked the Lok Sabha Speaker to take action against Khan.
“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,” Sitharaman said while pointing towards Congress MPs.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad demanded that Azam Khan must apologise failing to which he must be suspended from Lok Sabha.
Meanwhile, Azam Khan has been chargesheeted in 13 more cases in connection with him making ‘derogatory remarks’, for which cases were filed during the Lok Sabha polls. A chargesheet was also filed against his son and SP MLA Abdullah Azam Khan for his remarks against Jaya Prada.