Senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan was slapped on Monday with an FIR by the UP Police and a notice from the National Commission for Women for his alleged "khaki underwear" jibe against BJP leader Jaya Prada, while the saffron party mounted a sharp political attack comparing his "disgusting" comments to disrobing of Draupadi in Mahabharata.
The actor-turned-politician, who was earlier with the SP and has now been pitted by the BJP against Khan from Rampur Lok Sabha seat, demanded his immediate disqualification from contesting polls and said she had considered him a brother but he has now crossed the 'lakshman rekha'.
The Election Commission officials said they are examining the alleged remarks made by Khan, who has often stoked controversies with his speeches, and that the poll panel can even go beyond the ambit of the model code as the reported comments are not in a good taste.
Khan, however, remained defiant and said he did not name any person in his speech and if anyone proves that he had taken any name or maligned anyone then he would not contest the polls.
Without naming the actor, Khan had told an election rally on Sunday in Rampur "... You got represented (by her) for 10 years. People of Rampur, people of Uttar Pradesh and people of India, it took you 17 years to understand her reality. But, I could recognize it in 17 days that she wears a khaki underwear."
As the remarks drew a sharp criticism, with the BJP launching a scathing attack on him and other SP leaders including the party chief Akhilesh Yadav who was allegedly himself present at the rally, the police lodged an FIR against Khan.
Rampur's District Magistrate Aajaneya Kumar Singh told PTI, "An FIR has been registered against Azam Khan under section 509 of the IPC (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and under sections of the Representation of People's Act."
The National Commission for Women (NCW) issued a show cause notice to Khan, saying his remarks were "extremely derogatory, offensive, unethical and show disrespect towards dignity of women". It also urged the EC to take "strong action" against the SP leader.
Tagging a video of Khan's remarks, Swaraj tweeted, "Brother Mulayam, you are the patriarch of the Samajwadi Party. In Rampur, Draupadi is being disrobed in front of you. Don't commit the mistake of staying silent like Bhishma Pitamah", referring to an incident from the famous Indian mythology Mahabharata.
Swaraj also tagged SP president Akhilesh Yadav, who was allegedly present at the rally when Khan made the controversial remarks, his wife Dimple Yadav and film star Jaya Bachchan, who is also an SP leader.
At an election rally in Gujarat, BJP chief Amit Shah hit out at Khan and his party, as well as its ally in Uttar Pradesh BSP, and sought their apology for their leader's "disgusting" remark, calling it an insult to crores of mothers and sisters", not Jaya Prada alone.
BJP leader and union minister Smriti Irani also questioned the silence of the Congress and its allies on Khan's remarkes and alleged it was a clear indication that those connected with the UPA were disrespectful towards women.
"There is silence on the part of the Congress, its allies and other such political parties on the derogatory comments of Azam Khan...there has not been any opposition to it nor any condemnation...this proves that those in the UPA are disrespectful towards women," she told reporters in Amethi, where she is fighting Lok Sabha election against Rahul Gandhi.
Speaking to reporters in Rampur, Jaya Prada said, "(Khan has) crossed the lakshman rekha (his limits) this time. He is no longer a brother to me. I had considered him as my brother and tolerated everything, but now I cannot tolerate (this)."
Seeking an answer from SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, she said, "I am asking Akihlesh, whether you will allow such a person to contest the polls. Shame. He (Khan) should be expelled."
Jaya Prada had represented Rampur twice in Lok Sabha after winning in 2004 and 2009 as a Samajwadi Party leader. Later she was expelled from the party, along with Amar Singh, following differences with Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Last month she joined BJP and has been nominated as the saffron party's candidate against Khan from Rampur, which goes to polls on April 23.
Singh, who is considered as her mentor in UP politics, also attacked Khan and called him "filth and muck" of Indian politics.
Singh also alleged Khan of distributing Jaya Prada's morphed pictures during last elections and of launching a vicious propaganda against him and her.
Khan and some other SP leaders sought to suggest that Khan's comments were targeted at Singh.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)