Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan, who had triggered a row with an objectionable remark against Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Rama Devi last week, apologised on the floor of the House on Monday. Addressing the House, Khan said that he had no intention to disrespect the Chair of the Speaker.
The Samajwadi Party MP said that he had been a parliamentarian for long, as member of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, and hence understood the integrity and importance of the chair of the Speaker.
“However, if what I said hurt anyone’s sentiment, I apologise for it,” said Khan.
After the Uttar Pradesh leader offered the apology, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rama Devi said that his remark had hurt all women and men in the country. She further said that Azam Khan speaks in same manner inside as well as outside Parliament.
“It is in his habit to speak like this about women. But he cannot always speak whatever comes to his mind,” she said.
The BJP MP also took on former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who tried to defend Khan. Targeting the Yadav scion, she said that Azam Khan could speak for himself and he need not speak in the defence of the Rampur MP.
Following the argument, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said that all members must accept the apology of Azam Khan and allow the House to function smoothly. He said that it was the responsibility of all members to uphold the integrity of the Chair of Speaker. “Let us hope that this does not get repeated by any member in future,” said the Speaker.
It was decided last week in a meeting of opposition leaders with the Speaker that Khan would have to apologise for his statement. It was decided that action would be taken against him by the Speaker if he refused to apologise.
Azam Khan had faced severe criticism from members of government as well as opposition for his objectionable remark against Rama Devi.