Lok Sabha/ Demand to suspend Azam Khan; Smriti Irani says- Parliament not a place to look into the eyes of a woman

New Delhi: Women members in Lok Sabha on Friday spoke in one voice denouncing the sexist remarks by SP member Azam Khan against Bihar MP Rama Devi and asked that he apologize or else he should be suspended from the House.

Speaker Om Prakash Birla said on Friday, “I will hold a meeting with leaders of all parties and then take a decision.”

We cannot remain mute spectators: Irani

During the Zero Hour, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani said the comments of Khan in Lok Sabha on Thursday during the debate of Triple Talaq Bill were a “blot” on all lawmakers, including men. “This is a blot on all legislators including men. We cannot remain mute spectators to it. We have to speak in one voice that this is unacceptable,” Irani said.

“This is not a House where men come in and ‘Kisi aurat ki aankhon mein jhanka jaye (look into the eyes of a woman),” she added, quoting Azam Khan.

“The whole nation watched yesterday what happened. This House passed the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill. I appeal to all to speak in one voice- You cannot offend with a woman and get away with it by just dramatizing it,” she added.

“This is an offensive act, I urge to you for exemplary action,” said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to Speaker Om Prakash Birla.

‘We look towards Speaker for exemplary action against Khan’

Sitharaman said, “It is very encouraging to see everyone stand up and speak in once voice condemning what happened yesterday. We look towards you (Speaker) for exemplary action against him.”

BSP supremo Mayawati tweeted: “The indecent language used by Azam Khan, an SP MP from Uttar Pradesh, against a woman presiding officer in Lok Sabha yesterday hurt the dignity and honour of women, and is very condemnable. For this, he should not only apologise in Parliament but to all women.”

Supporting the women MPs, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said either Khan should tender an apology or he should be suspended from the House. Cutting across party lines, several MPs condemned Azam Khan’s remarks and demanded strict action against him.

Trinamool Congress MP Mimi Chakraborty too raised her voice against Azam Khan: “Nobody can stand the Parliament and tell a woman “look into my eyes and talk.” Speaker sir, all women here are expecting something big from you on this.”

Participating in the debate on the triple talaq bill on Thursday, Khan made certain observations on a ruling party member.