New Delhi: BJP ally LJP said on Saturday the Lok Sabha should have acted against Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan by now for his sexist remarks against Rama Devi and demanded that the Speaker take strict action against him if he does not apologise.
In a party statement issued by its Lok Sabha MP Veena Devi, the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) said Khan’s remarks in the House “cannot be condoned and were extremely condemnable”.”Action should have been taken against Azam Khan by now. The Speaker should ensure that stringent action should be taken against him if he does not apologise,” she said.
Cutting across party lines, Lok Sabha members on Friday demanded exemplary action against Khan. Speaker Om Birla has conveyed to Khan’s party that he must apologise or action will be taken against him.
BJP lawmaker and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Rama Devi has said that she will “never forgive” Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, even if he apologises for his remarks to her in parliament this week that that was condemned by lawmakers across political lines as sexist. Rama Devi said that Azam Khan insulted the chair twice – once by making the comment and second by not apologising instantly.
“When he (Azam Khan) gave this statement, I was sitting in the chair of the speaker. The chair looks where everyone is looked at equality. I respected everyone equally. Azam Khan was speaking directly to MPs when I asked him to address the chair. But soon after, he used words which cannot be repeated here,” Rama Devi said.
Rama Devi said she could have given a strong retort but didn’t speak out of respect for the chair she held then. “Every man has a mother, sister, daughter and wife. Azam Khan’s remark is going to hurt not only women but also the dignity of men,” she said.
Speaker Om Birla has conveyed to Khan’s party that he must apologise or action will be taken against him. But Rama Devi is not convinced.
“If Azam Khan had apologized for his indecent statement on the same day, I would have forgiven him. He even walked off on Thursday post making this comment – adding insult to injury. If he apologises and is forgiven, then I do not want to witness this in the house. I will tell the Speaker that Azam Khan has not only embarrassed me, but women across the country have been insulted. I will tell the Speaker Om Birla that Azam Khan needs to be given such exemplary punishment that is remembered for generations to come,” Rama Devi said. “People like Azam Khan and (Samajwadi Party chief) Akhilesh Yadav will not understand the struggle after which I have reached here,” Rama Devi added.
Khan had made the remarks on Thursday during a debate on a bill to criminalise Triple Talaq or instant divorce. When BJP lawmaker Rama Devi, officiating as Speaker, asked him to address the Chair while making his point, he responded with comments that were so offensive that shouts of “shame” erupted in the house.