Jitan Ram Manjhi, HAM, Bihar, Jharkhand, Azam Khan, Parliament, Rama Devi, The Federal, English news website
Jitan Ram Manjhi turns a political turncoat again

Everything must not be seen as having sexual overtones: Manjhi backs Azam

While the Parliament decried Azam Khan’s ‘sexist comments’ against BJP MP Rama Devi in the House, the Samajwadi Party leader found former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi supporting him, but with a strange reason.

Touring Nawada district of Bihar on Sunday (July 28), Manjhi said that Azam’s comments should not be misinterpreted as having “sexual overtones” and compared it to brother-sister love. The Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) leader also added that he need not resign but accept the demand for an apology.

“When brothers and sisters, mothers and sons plant a kiss by way of affection, the gesture is not seen as having sexual overtones. Azam Khan’s words are not being taken in the right spirit. I therefore hold the opinion that he need not resign but since all parties have objections he should tender an apology and be done with the matter,” Manjhi said.

Also Read: Mere apology won’t do, Azam Khan should be suspended: Rama Devi

Azam Khan courted controversy last Thursday (July 25) during the debate on the Triple Talaq bill, when he told Rama Devi, “I want to look into your eyes for eternity.”

This triggered an uproar in the Parliament a day later as several MPs demanded an apology from Khan for making such “objectionable comments.”

But, Rama Devi demanded the suspension of Khan and said a mere apology won’t do.

Further, Manjhi disclosed to news agency PTI that his party (HAM), a constituent of the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar, would be contesting the upcoming Assembly polls in Jharkhand in collaboration with an NDA partner.

“Our talks with Ajsu is in final stages. Seat sharing arrangements will be decided soon. We hope it will be mutually beneficial and there will be a seamless transfer of votes during elections,” Manjhi said in Gaya.

Also Read: Misogyny in Parliament, a narrative of deep rooted malice

Asked why he would not be contesting as part of the Mahagathbandhan in the neighbouring state, Manjhi said, “HAM was never a part of the Mahagathbandhan in Jharkhand. We joined the coalition comprising Congress, RJD and others only for Bihar. Beyond the boundaries of the state, the alliance does not exist. So our move should not be seen as betrayal.”

He also declined to comment as to whether he was in talks with leaders of the BJP, the senior NDA partner in Jharkhand, and added, “Our alliance with Ajsu will be taking place mainly because of the personal friendship I have with its president Sudesh Mahto.”

He also denied that the development was a signal of his plans to return to the NDA in Bihar.

(With inputs from agencies)

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