Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan will be asked to apologise by Speaker Om Birla on the Lok Sabha for his sexist remarks against BJP member Rama Devi, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said on Friday, adding that Khan will face action in case he does not apologise.
Speaking to the media, following an all party meeting, Joshi said, "The Speaker will ask Azam Khan to apologise over his comments made against Rama Devi without any condition in the House. If he does not do so, the Speaker has been authorised to take action against him".
Sources: Opposition leaders & Lok Sabha Speaker have come to a conclusion that SP MP Azam Khan should apologise in the House for his remarks on BJP MP Rama Devi. Speaker will take action if Azam Khan doesn't apologise. pic.twitter.com/n5J9axgkum— ANI (@ANI) July 26, 2019
On Thursday, Khan’s remarks to Devi when she was in the Chair during a discussion on the triple talaq bill were slammed as double-meaning, malicious, utterly condemnable and a blot on all legislators, prompting ministers and MPs to demand exemplary action against him.
Later, the 70-year-old politician, who has often been criticised for his weaponry of words, defended his statement, saying "You are very respected, you are like my sister".
In what could be a major surprise to all the Lok Sabha members, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav also came out in Khan's support and said, "I don't think Azam Khan ji meant any disrespect to the chair (Rama Devi). These ( BJP MPs) people are so rude, who are they to raise fingers?"
When asked to apologise by Speaker Birla, the Uttar Pradesh MP said he was ready to tender his resignation if he has said anything unparliamentary. Soon after he later walked out of the Lok Sabha.
Meanwhile, several women MPs cutting across party lines have written to the Speaker demanding stringent action against Khan. Rama Devi said he should be suspended for entire five years from Lok Sabha.
Earlier, women members in Lok Sabha spoke in one voice condemning Khan for his sexist remarks and demanded that he apologise or else he should be suspended from the House. During Zero Hour, Union Minister Smriti Irani said Khan's remarks in Lok Sabha were a "blot" on all legislators, including men.
Khan, who has developed a status of being controversy's favourite child over the years, time and again raked up political storms with his controversial statements. In the run up to the Lok Sabha polls, the SP leader was facing criticism for his "khaki underwear" jibe at BJP leader Jaya Prada in one of his election speeches. The Election Commission of India, miffed over his inflammatory remarks at several places in Uttar Pradesh, barred him from campaigning for 72 hours and served him a show cause notice.