New Delhi: Lok Sabha on Friday witnessed uproarious scenes over Samajwadi Party's Azam Khan's alleged derogatory and sexist remark on BJP MP Rama Devi with lawmakers from across all parties demanding an unconditional apology from him. Khan had on Thursday triggered a political storm by commenting on BJP MP Rama Devi when she was officiating as the Speaker.
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 get away. "If these comments were made outside, police would have arrested him," BJP leader said in the Lok Sabha on Friday.
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.
Owing to the demands made by women MPs of the House, Speaker Om Birla said that he will call a meeting of leaders of all parties and then take a decision on this issue..
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".
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.
Meanwhile, the National Commission For Women also slammed Khan for his "objectionable" remarks, with its chief Rekha Sharma calling from Khan's disqualification from Parliament.
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.