‘Feel like looking into your eyes’: Azam Khan’s remark on presiding officer triggers uproar in Lok Sabha

The National Commission for Women slammed the SP leader for his ‘objectionable’ remarks against BJP’s Rama Devi who was presiding over parliamentary proceedings.

NEW DELHI JUly 25, 2019: The Lok Sabha witnessed high drama when Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan made certain objectionable remarks against BJP’s Rama Devi who was presiding over the proceedings, leading to an uproar with union ministers pressing for an apology from Khan.

Participating in the debate on the triple talaq bill on Thursday, Khan made certain observations on a ruling party member.

Rama Devi asked Khan to address the chair and not to look at other members. At this, the SP member made some objectionable remarks on the chair. “Aap mujhe itni acchi lagti hain ki mera mann karta hai ki aap ki aankhon mein aankhein dale rahoon (I like you so much that I always want to keep looking into your eyes),” news agency ANI quoted Azam Khan as saying.

Rama Devi found Khan’s remark completely unacceptable and she asked for the remarks to be expunged.

This infuriated Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Arjun Ram Meghwal who urged the Chair to ask Khan to apologise.

When Khan was asked to do so by Rama Devi, he said he meant no disrespect to her as she was like his “very dear sister”. Azam Khan said: “You are my sister, bahut pyari behen (very dear sister). I have had a long political career, it is not possible for me to say anything bad. If there is a single unparliamentary word in what I said, then I declare my resignation from parliament.”

Coming to party leader’s support, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said: “I don’t think Azam Khanji meant any disrespect to the chair (Rama Devi). These (BJP MPs) people are so rude. Who are they to raise fingers? If you (Speaker) think that the words use by Khan are unparliamentary, they should be expunged.”

Speaker Om Prakash Birla, who took over the proceedings later, said: “It is very easy for all of you to demand ‘expunge this, expunge that’, but why should the need to expunge arise at all? Once a remark is made, it is already in the public domain. Therefore, we all should speak keeping the dignity of Parliament in mind.”

Later, Danish Ali of BSP walked out saying he too was not allowed to speak. Azam Khan joined him in the walkout, saying he cannot speak when he was being insulted.

Members of SP and BSP too walked out of the proceedings.

Meanwhile, National Commission For Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma said the SP leader should be disqualified from Parliament.

“#AzamKhan again did what he is good at. Misbehaving and using inappropriate language for women and this time with none other than woman sitting on speaker’s chair in parliament. I strongly condemn his disgraceful and sexist remark. He must get disqualified from Parliament,” she posted on Twitter.

Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal also hit out at the former Uttar Pradesh minister and said he should be sent to jail for his “lecherous comment”.

“Shame on Azam Khan. Such lecherous comment against MP sitting on Speaker Chair. A man with such notorious reputation of vile speech against women has no right to be in Parliament. When will Centre create law to arrest such politicians? Send this man 2 mental asylum and then jail!” she tweeted.

(With PTI and ANI inputs)

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