Union Minister Smriti Irani on Friday in a strong-voiced message condemned the statements made by Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan on Lok Sabha Chair Rama Devi on July 25 in the Lower House of the Parliament. Addressing the floor, the Minister of Women and Child Development cited the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill and urged all the Members of Parliament to stand united in condemning the 'Aankho Mein Aankh' sexist remark made by Azam Khan at Rama Devi.
"Let us not reduce this to a problem of just women. This is a blot on all legislators including men. This is not a House where men come in and 'Kisi aurat ki aankhon mein jhanka jaye'. Irrespective of our political difference, the entire nation watched yesterday, how this House was disrespected. It is a privilege to speak in this House, if such disrespectful remarks against a woman would have happened outside the House, then she would have asked for police justice and she would have got. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill was passed by this House and we cannot sit quiet watch in peace," Smriti Irani said.
Appealing the House to send a stern message that a woman from any party will not be insulted by anyone on the floor, Irani added that no one can misuse the privilege of Lok Sabha to misbehave with a woman and get away with it.
"Not being a woman, not being a women MP, but being a Parliamentarian, I appeal the entire house to send the message that a woman can be from any party, the privilege of the House will not be misused to insult a woman. Leave all political differences, gender differences and say in one voice that you cannot misbehave with a woman and get away with it," said the Union Minister. A
As Smriti Irani made her statement, NDA MPs stood up in solidarity with the Textiles Minister, condemning the remarks of the SP MP.
Adding to Smriti Irani's statement, Union Law Minister demanded either an apology to BJP MP from Bihar's Sheohar Rama Devi from Azam Khan or his suspension from entering the Parliament.
Instead of condemnig the remarks made by Azam Khan, Congress' Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury called for the matter to be undertaken by Committee Of Privilege of the Parliament, and based on their decision, steps should be taken further.
"We respect a woman like a goddess. I am not with any side. I am just saying whatever decision the privilege committee will take should be accepted by everyone," the Congress MP said.
On Thursday, the Lok Sabha witnessed uproar amid the Triple Talaq Bill debate when SP MP Azam Khan made sexist remarks at Lok Sabha chair Rama Devi.
"I really like you so much that I feel like keep looking into your eyes. I feel like never taking my eyes off you," Azam Khan said talking to the Lok Sabha chair. (Aap mujhe itni achi lagti hai ki aapke aankho main aankhe dale rahu ye mera man karta hai. Main kabhi na nazar haatau aapse. Aap kitni acchi jagah baithi hai.)
Leaving the Parliament, Azam Khan responded to the questions of media saying that he has not used any unparliamentary language. On being as to why he did not apologise even as the MPs and the Speaker demanded an apology, he blatantly denied the charges.
"Nobody asked me to apologise. I did not use any unparliamentary language. If I have, then I will tender my resignation right now," the Rampur MP said.
Deputy Lok Sabha Rama Devi has condemned Azam Khan's remarks on her, saying that he should have respected the chair and its dignity. She added saying that if the SP leader does not apologize, she would take appropriate steps against his misbehaviour.
"The language of Azam khan to a person when she is on the (Lok Sabha) chair is very bad. This is an insult to a woman and the (Lok Sabha) chair. He should respect the chair and its dignity. His language is very foul," she said.