Rama Devi, however, refused to accept the errant MP's apology and said that his comments had hurt people across India and had denigrated the status of the Chair.
Samajwadi Party’s Lok Sabha MP Azam Khan on Monday issued an apology in Parliament for his derogatory remarks against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Rama Devi. As soon as the proceedings of the house began, Khan said that everyone in the Lok Sabha knows about his speech and behaviour. He further apologised for his mistake and said he had no malintent towards the Chair. “I had no malintent towards the Chair. Everyone in the House knows my speech and my conduct, but despite this, if the Chair still feels I made a mistake, I apologise for it,” Khan said in his apology which he was asked to repeat since some members objected to him being inaudible.
Rama Devi, however, refused to accept the errant MP’s apology and said that his comments had hurt people across India and had denigrated the status of the Chair. Accusing Khan of being a habitual offender, Rama Devi said Khan must change his behaviour. “Inki to aadat ho gayi hai. Jo muh mein aata hai bol dete hain. Inki yeh aadat badalni chahiye (It has become his habit. He speaks whatever comes to his mind. This habit must change).”
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, who was present inside the House and was seated beside Khan as he rose to make his statement, jumped to his party colleague’s defence when some members demanded that Khan repeat his apology as it was not clearly audible. “It could be that honourable members did not wear the headphone while the statement was made. He has said whatever he has to say,” Akhilesh said, adding that the accident involving the Unnao rape victim should also be taken up by BJP members.
Akhilesh’s defence of Khan was met with a terse response from the senior BJP MP. “Akhilesh Yadav, khabardaar! Unke (Khan) paas zubaan hai..Aap kyun unke pravakta ban rahe hain aur unka bachav kar rahe hain. (Azam Khan can speak for himself. I warn you against speaking for him and defending him),” she said.
Speaker Om Birla also asked all members to refrain from using language that hurts the dignity of the House. Earlier in the day, Samajwadi Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav along with MP Azam Khan met Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla at his office in Parliament. Rama Devi was also present at the meeting. Khan;s remarks had drawn flak from different political quarters.
On July 25, during the session of the House, Khan made an objectionable remark against Rama Devi when she was presiding over the Lower House proceedings in the absence of Speaker Om Birla. The statement had triggered widespread outrage among the women MPs, who demanded an immediate apology from the Rampur MP. The MPs also the Speaker to take strict action against Khan.
This is not the first time that SP MP Azam Khan drew the wrath of people over his misogynist comments against women. During the time of Lok Sabha elections 2019 campaigning, the SP leader had said that BJP’s Jaya Prada wears “khaki underwear”. The derogatory remark against the Jaya Prada resulted in Khan being banned from campaigning for 72 hours. Earlier, Khan had called the actor-turned-politician as ‘nachne wali’. On Sunday, the Uttar Pradesh police filed charge sheets in 13 more cases against Khan for issuing objectionable comments on several occasions.