Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan on Monday apologised in the Lok Sabha for his sexist remarks about Bharatiya Janata Party member Rama Devi last week, The Indian Express reported.
Devi was chairing proceedings when Khan made the remarks during a debate on the triple talaq bill on Thursday. When she asked Khan to look at her while speaking, as she was in the chair, he said, “Aap mujhe itni achchi lagti hain ki mera mann karta hai ki aap ki aankhon mein aankhein dale rahoon [I like you so much that I wish to look into your eyes and keep looking at you].”
“I did not have any wrong feelings towards the Chair,” Khan said in the Lok Sabha on Monday, according to The Indian Express. “The whole House is aware of my conduct. Despite all this, if the Chair thinks my statements were derogatory, I apologise.”
Speaker Om Birla accepted Khan’s apology and asked the House to give the MP another chance, while asking him to not repeat such statements. “Azam Khan has tendered an apology and all members must maintain decorum so that no such incident takes place in future,” Birla said.
Birla said members of the House should refrain from using language that affects the dignity of the House. “This House belongs to all and it runs on support from everyone,” ANI quoted him as saying.
BJP MP Rama Devi said Khan’s remarks had hurt both women and men. “He will not understand this,” Devi said, according to ANI. “He has acquired really bad habits... I have not come here to hear such comments.” Devi had said on Saturday that she would not accept an apology from Khan and would instead seek exemplary punishment for him
Samajwadi Party MP Akhilesh Yadav, who had defended Khan, said: “Azam Khan ji has said what he wanted to say. What about the ‘beti’ in Unnao? We should also talk about that.” Yadav was referring to the Unnao rape survivor, who was critically injured in an accident on Sunday.