MPs condemn Azam Khan’s remarks, demand apology in Lok Sabha

Azam Khan, sexist remarks, exemplary action, Rama Devi, Smriti Irani, Nirmala Sitharaman, Om Birla, The Federal, English news website
Speaker Om Birla. Photo: PTI.

Cutting across party lines, members in Lok Sabha on Friday (July 26) condemned the sexist remarks by Samajwadi Party’s (SP) Azam Khan against Bihar MP Rama Devi and demanded exemplary action against him.

During the Zero Hour, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani said that the remarks of Khan in the Lok Sabha on Thursday (July 25) during the debate of the Triple Talaq Bill were a “blot” on all legislators, including men.

“This is a blot on all legislators including men. We cannot remain silent spectators to it. We have to speak in one voice that this is unacceptable,” Irani said. Supporting Irani, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that either Khan should tender an apology or he should be suspended from the House.

Several other women MPs expressed unhappiness over Azam Khan’s remarks and demanded that the Speaker take strict action against him. Speaker Om Birla said that he will hold a meeting with leaders of all parties and then take a decision. NCP’s Supriya Sule, Trinamool Congress member Kalyan Banerjee, and BJD’s B Mahtab were among the members who chimed with the views condemning Khan’s remarks.

Congress leader in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that action should be taken against anyone demeaning women and raised the issue of members using objectionable words against Sonia Gandhi in the past. However, this drew protests from the members of the treasury benches who said that the issue should not be politicised.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman termed Khan’s remarks as “utterly condemnable” and urged the Speaker to take exemplary action.