A day after Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan triggered a row with his derogatory and sexist remark on BJP MP Rama Devi, a decision was taken on Friday that Khan will have to apologise in the House.
The decision was taken by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla after holding a meeting with the opposition leaders. Khan had on Thursday triggered a political storm by commenting on the BJP MP when she was officiating as the Speaker. In the meeting, it was also decided that action will be taken against Khan by the Lok Sabha Speaker if he failed to apologise.
Lok Sabha witnessed uproarious scenes over Khan remark with lawmakers from across all parties demanding an unconditional apology from him. Several women MPs too condemned Azam Khan's statement one by one and demanded the strictest action against the SP leader.
Raking up the issue, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani said that women, regardless of a party she belongs to, cannot be insulted. Irani further warned Khan that he can't misbehave and getaway. "If these comments were made outside, police would have arrested him," BJP leader said in the Lok Sabha.
Speaking on the issue, NCP MP Supriya Sule said, ''I condemn, I feel shame, offensive language is not accepted. If not corrected, it will set bad values for generations ahead. I urge to give very very strict instructions. We come here as professionals, not as me or women.''
On her turn, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, ''It is very encouraging to see everyone stand up and speak in one voice condemning what happened yesterday. We look towards you (LS Speaker) for exemplary action against him.''
''Congress party is against the disrespect of women. There have been incidents when Sonia Gandhi Ji was called 'Italy ki Kathputli' etc. in the Parliament,'' said Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Azam Khan's statement.
Earlier on Friday, BJP MP Rama Devi launched a scathing attack on Samajwadi Party MP 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 said.
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, Khan said he meant no disrespect to her as she was like his "dear sister".