Lok Sabha Members Seek Action Against Azam Khan Over Comment

Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan. (File Photo: IANS)

Congress’s leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the issue should be referred to the Ethics or Privileges Committee of the House.

Caravan News

NEW DELHI — A majority of Lok Sabha members on Friday condemned Samajwadi Party member Azam Khan’s objectionable comment against BJP MP Rama Devi and demanded “exemplary” action against him.

BJP leader Sanghmitra Maurya moved a motion requesting Speaker Om Birla to punish Azam Khan to set an example for others. The Speaker promised to take a decision soon.

While seeking action against Azam Khan a few members including AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi took a jibe at MJ Akbar, who had to resign in the previous Modi government following an allegation of sexual harassment against him. Owaisi sought to know what happened to the committee that was formed to investigate the allegation against Akbar.

Participating in a discussion on the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 on Thursday, Khan made a remark directed at Rama Devi, who was presiding over the House, drawing objections from the treasury benches.

Rama Devi, a member from Bihar’s Sheohar, herself objected to the sexist remark and ordered it be expunged from Parliament records.

Union ministers Smriti Irani and Ravi Shankar Prasad sought the immediate suspension of Azam Khan from the Lok Sabha pending a final decision.

Congress’s leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the issue should be referred to the Ethics or Privileges Committee of the House.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said action should be taken against everyone who shows disrespect towards women inside the house or outside. He said even Sonia Gandhi had been humiliated in the Lok Sabha in past.

However, this drew protests from the treasury benches who said the issue should not be politicized.

Chowdhury said the Privileges Committee of the Lok Sabha was empowered to take a decision on the matter.

Raising the matter during Zero Hour on Friday, BJP’s Sanghmitra Maurya said: “What happened in the House on Thursday was undignified. Azam Khan has to come to the House and apologize.”

Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said she had never heard such comments in her seven year legislative career.

Union Minister Babul Supriyo said that though Khan’s remarks were expunged, TV channels had telecast them and the entire country had heard it.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also demanded that Khan, elected from Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur constituency, should apologize for his remarks or be suspended from the House.

Several other women members expressed unhappiness over Azam Khan’s remarks and asked the Speaker to take strict action against him.

NCP’s Supriya Sule said that the House must speak in one voice and set a precedent once and for all.

Actor-turned-politician and first-time MP Nusrat Jahan of TMC also condemned the comment and sought exemplary action against him.

Another first-time member, Mimi Chakraborty, said: “Speaker Sir, all women here are expecting something big from you on this.”

Responding, Speaker Om Birla said he will hold a meeting with leaders of all parties from both the treasury and opposition benches and then take a decision.

(With inputs from IANS)


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