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Azam Khan apologises in Lok Sabha for remark against BJP's Rama Devi


ANI Politics
After drawing widespread criticism, Samajwadi Party lawmaker Azam Khan on Monday apologised in the Lok Sabha for his sexist remarks against BJP's Rama Devi.
"I have earlier said that she is like my sister. I cannot have any ill intention towards the Chair. The House knows the kind of conduct I have, if the Chair still thinks that I have committed a mistake then I apologise for that," Khan said.
He was defended by his party chief Akhilesh Yadav who raised the issue of the Unnao rape victim's road accident. However, Speaker Om Birla did not allow Yadav to speak about the accident in which the girl, who had accused BJP legislator Kuldeep Singh Senger of sexually assaulting her in 2017, sustained injuries.
"Azam Khan ji has said what he wanted to say. What about the 'beti' in Unnao? We should also talk about that," the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said.
Rama Devi, who was at the receiving end of Khan's comment was not satisfied with the apology and said the remark has hurt people across India.
"Azam Khan ji's remark have hurt both women and men in India. He will not understand this. He speaks like this outside Parliament also. Inki aadat bigadi hui hai, zaroorat se zada bigadi hui hai," Rama Devi, who was in the chair when Khan made the remark against her, said.
"I am a Dalit lawmaker and have reached here after a lot of struggle. Azam Khan speaks whatever he wants, this is not right. I have not come here to hear such comments," she added.
After statements by Khan and Rama Devi, the Speaker cautioned members against using language that affects the dignity of the House.
"This House belongs to all and it runs on support from everyone. Members must refrain from using language that affects the dignity of the House. The Chair is yours and it is your responsibility to maintain the prestige of it. I request everyone to look towards the Chair whenever you speak," Speaker Om Birla remarked.
Before commencement of the proceedings, Yadav and Khan attended a meeting with the Lok Sabha Speaker at his office in Parliament where Rama Devi was also present.
Azam Khan had stirred a controversy after he made objectionable remarks against Rama Devi when she was presiding over the debate on the Triple Talaq Bill in the Lok Sabha on July 25.
Earlier, despite several BJP parliamentarians seeking an apology, Khan did not apologise and said he will resign if he had said anything un-parliamentary.

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First Published: Jul 29 2019 | 12:17 PM IST

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