BJP MP Rama Devi on Saturday said Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan must be suspended from the Lok Sabha for five years as a mere apology for his objectionable remarks is not enough, news agency PTI reported.
“He should be given a serious punishment and suspended for five years,” said Devi, who was officiating the House on Thursday when Khan made the objectionable remarks against her. The BJP leader also said that she would have forgiven him had Khan tendered an immediate apology, but he stormed out of Parliament.
A mere apology will not suffice as the comments, which were expunged from the record, were an insult to Parliament and its members, she said.
On Friday, after a meeting with representatives from various parties, Speaker Om Birla had asked the SP leader to tender an apology or he will face stringent action.
Khan’s remarks had sparked an uproar in the House. During the zero hour on Friday, BJP member Sanghamitra Maurya had raised a special mention on the “derogatory remarks made against the Chair” and said that Khan should apologise to the House.
Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said this should not be treated as a woman’s issue alone, as Khan’s remarks are a blot on all legislators, including men. Referring to the couplet he had uttered, Irani said: “This is not a House where men come to gaze into the eyes of any woman. It is a privilege to speak in this House. If such disrespectful remarks were made against a woman outside, then she would have sought police protection, and even got it…. We cannot stay quiet and watch.”
Among women members who spoke out against the Rampur MP’s remarks were Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, BJP MPs Anupriya Patel and Meenakshi Lekhi, TMC’s Mimi Chakraborty, Independent MP from Amravati Navaneet Kaur Rana, and NCP’s Supriya Sule.