Lok Sabha members demand “exemplary action” against Azam Khan for his sexist remarks

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Friday said Samajwadi Party member Azam Khan should apologise to BJP member Rama Devi or he would face action for his sexist remarks against her on Thursday when she was presiding over the House proceedings.

Earlier, the Speaker met with Opposition leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Jayadev Galla, Danish Ali, Supriya Sule, and others over the issue.

Lok Sabha members, cutting across party lines, on Friday condemned Mr. Khan and demanded “exemplary action” against him.

The Speaker had told the House that he would call a meeting of MPs from all parties to decide on the future course of action.

The matter was first raised, during Zero Hour, by Minister Smriti Irani. She said the remarks made by Mr. Khan during the debate on the Triple Talaq Bill was 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,” Ms Irani said.

Supporting Ms Irani, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said either Mr. Khan should tender an apology or he should be suspended from the House.

Nationalist Congress Party’s Supriya Sule, Trinamool Congress’s Kalyan Banerjee and Biju Janata Dal’s Bhratruhari Mahtab were among the members who echoed similar sentiments condemning Mr. Khan’s remarks.

Mr. Chowdhury said action should be taken against anyone demeaning women. He also raised the issue of members using objectionable words against UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in the past. This, however, drew protests from the members of the treasury benches, who said the issue should not be politicised.

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


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