Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jaya Prada on Monday rebuked Samajwadi Party leader Abdullah Azam Khan for comparing her to the character of courtesan Anarkali, PTI reported. Jaya Prada is contesting against his father Azam Khan from Rampur in Uttar Pradesh. Azam Khan had earlier been banned from campaigning for three days for making derogatory remarks about her.

Jaya Prada said she is disappointed with Abdullah’s statement. “It is natural for a son to speak the same language as his father does,” she told ANI. “Abdullah has groomed in the atmosphere of his father Azam Khan, it was obvious for him to speak the same language. But I am very disappointed with Abdullah’s statement who has grown in front of me. He is seeing Anarkali in me it is very unfortunate. It is very offensive and I condemn his statement.”

Anarkali is believed to have been a famous courtesan in Mughal emperor Akbar’s court who purportedly had an affair with his son Jehangir.

Abdullah Azam is the Samajwadi Party’s MLA from Suar and Azam Khan represents Rampur seat in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly. “It is not about only Jaya Prada but maybe he thinks of every woman as Anarkali,” the BJP leader added. She demanded that the Election Commission take note of his comments.

At a public meeting in Rampur on Sunday, April 21, Abdullah Azam had said, “Both Ali and Bajrang Bali are ours, but we do not want Anarkali.” Ali is a revered figure in Islam, while Bajrang Bali refers to Hindu diety Hanuman.

Earlier remarks

On April 20, a case was filed against Jaya Prada for warning Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati about Azam Khan, reported ANI. On April 18, the actor-turned-politician had said at a campaign rally in Kemri: “Considering the comments Azam Khan makes against me, Mayawati ji you must think unki X-ray jaisi aankhein aapke upar bhi kaha-kaha daal kar dekhengi [Mayawati should think how his X-ray-like eyes will look at her].

Jaya Prada, on Monday, defended her comments. “I have not said anything wrong about Mayawati, I respect her, she is also a woman,” Prada said. “I was hoping that Mayawati will support me when Azam Khan made a derogatory statement against me but she misunderstood my words.”

The Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party have allied with each other for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh.

Last week, Azam Khan had made sexist remarks about Jaya Prada, after which the Election Commission banned him from campaigning for 72 hours. He had reportedly said at a rally in Rampur that the colour of “the current Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate’s” underwear is khaki.

Abdullah Azam Khan’s statement was a reference to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP leader Adityanath’s controversial comments comparing the Lok Sabha elections to a contest between Ali, a revered figure in Islam, and Bajrang Bali, the Hindu god Hanuman. On April 15, the Election Commission had banned Adityanath from campaigning for 72 hours for the comment.

Rampur goes to polls on Tuesday. The constituency is currently represented by the BJP’s Nepal Singh.