A day after senior SP leader and the SP-BSP-RLD alliance candidate from Rampur, Azam Khan, allegedly made derogatory remarks against his BJP opponent Jaya Prada at a public meeting, local police on Monday lodged an FIR against Khan, while the National Commission for Women (NCW) issued him a notice and urged the Election Commission (EC) to take take strong action against his “extremely offensive, unethical” words.
The SP leader claimed that his remark was taken out of context, and that he will not contest if he can be proven guilty of making remarks against a woman politician.
Meanwhile, another video emerged on social media in which Khan was heard making derogatory comments against the District Magistrate (DM), asking people not to be scared of “collector” (DMs), as they are mere salaried employees, and the Opposition alliance, if it wins the polls, will make them clean shoes.
Rampur DM Aunjaneya Kumar Singh said, “We are lodging a case against Azam Khan on his shoe comment. So far, nine FIRs have been lodged against him since April 2.”
The FIR, filed at Shahabad police station in Rampur, is based on a complaint by Mahesh Kumar Gupta, a local government college principal who has been deputed by the district administration as in-charge of the election flying squad. It was filed under IPC Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and Section 125 of Representation of the People Act, Rampur SP Shiv Hari Meena, said.
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DM Singh said, “I have sent a report to the EC with a transcript of Azam Khan’s speech.”
Addressing a rally on Sunday, with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and other SP leaders on the dais, Khan allegedly commented on Jaya Prada’s association with the RSS and, without naming anyone, said the underwear is of khaki colour.
In its notice, the NCW noted that Khan made “sexist comments on a lady politician” and has made several such “derogatory remarks against women in the past”. NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma also wrote to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora about Khan’s “below-the belt ‘khaki’ comments” and his statement about how Jaya Prada “will enthral voters with her ghungroos and thumkas”. Sharma also pointed out that the remarks are in violation of EC’s model code of conduct.
Speaking to the media, Jaya Prada said, “Iska chunav radd hona chahiye. Yeh aadmi chunav jeet gaya toh loktantra ka kya hoga? Samaj me mahilaon ko sthaan nahi milega… (He should be barred from contesting. If this man wins, what will happen to democracy? There will be no place for women in the society…)”
Referring to the disrobing of Draupadi by the Kauravas in Mahabharat, senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj sought SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s intervention and tweeted, “Mulayam-bhai — aap pitahmah hain Samajwadi Party kay. Aapke saamne Rampur mein Draupadi ka cheer haran ho raha hai. Aap Bheeshm ki tarah maun saadhney ki galati mat kariye (You are SP’s patriarch. In Rampur, Draupadi is being disrobed in front of you. Do not commit the mistake of staying silent like Bhishma).”
At a poll meeting in Gujarat’s Gir Somnath district, BJP chief Amit Shah sought an apology from SP: “The lewd comments are an insult to mothers. It is not just a comment on Jaya Prada but on crores of women in this country. I want to ask the SP and Mayawati and Rahul Gandhi if they agree with Khan’s comments.” —With ENS Delhi