Azam Khan apologises, BJP MP says he is in habit of making such remarkshttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/azam-khan-apologises-bjp-mp-says-he-is-in-habit-of-making-such-remarks-5861927/

Azam Khan apologises, BJP MP says he is in habit of making such remarks

Devi, who was in the Chair last Thursday when Khan had made the remarks, said the SP member has a habit of uttering words against women. As members appeared restive over his first apology, Khan had to apologise again.

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Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, BJP leader Rama Devi (R)

In a tight spot over objectionable remarks against BJP member Rama Devi, Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan tendered an apology in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Devi, who was in the Chair last Thursday when Khan had made the remarks, said the SP member has a habit of uttering words against women. As members appeared restive over his first apology, Khan had to apologise again.

Speaker Om Birla called upon Khan to speak as soon as the House met for the day.

Khan said: “Sir, (in) the issue regarding me, which has come up before you, neither did I feel in such a way towards the Chair, nor is it possible. I was a Parliamentary Affairs minister (in Uttar Pradesh) twice. I have been an MLA nine times, a minister four times and a Rajya Sabha member too. The entire House is aware of my conduct and speech. However, if the Chair still feels that there was something wrong in my feelings (mujhse bhavana mein koyi galati huyi hai), I seek forgiveness for it.”

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READ | Azam Khan should be suspended for five years, mere apology won’t do: BJP’s Rama Devi

The Speaker then called upon Devi, who said that she could not hear what Khan said, apparently due to noise. Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, seated next to Khan, then said, “He has said whatever he had to.”

The Speaker told Khan to repeat his remarks.

At this stage, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi intervened to say that Khan should tender an apology in the “right language”. As several Opposition members began speaking simultaneously, an agitated Joshi exclaimed, “He has not done it…You want to defend him…. What is it that you are doing?”

Yadav objected to an expression used by Devi amid the din and referred to the accident involving the Unnao rape victim, and also claimed that BJP members only shouted “Jai Shri Ram”, and never “Jai Siya Ram”.

Turning to Khan, the Speaker said, “Please offer your apology again. You have a big heart.”

Khan said, “I had said it before as well. She (Devi) is like my sister. Whether I say something once or a thousand times, it remains the same…. It is not possible for me to say anything against the Chair. Still, if my words hurt anyone, I apologise.”

The Speaker said, “It is all right.”

But Devi said Khan’s remarks had pained the whole country and that she did not come to the House to hear such things. She said that Khan had made derogatory remarks against women on several occasions outside the House, too, but had now done it inside the House. She said Khan’s habit was beyond repair and that he should improve it.

When Yadav tried to speak, Devi asked why he was supporting Khan, and that the latter has a voice of his own.

The Speaker wrapped up the issue with a long observation. “The House,” he told the members, “belongs to everybody. It runs with everybody’s concurrence. The Chair is yours and it is your responsibility to maintain its prestige. I beseech all of you and also ministers to look towards the Chair while speaking.” He said that considering “the apology had been tendered by the member in accordance with the decision of all parties, we should try to ensure that no member should repeat this in future.”