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Divided by parties, united against sexism: Women MPs across party lines condemn Azam Khan’s sexist comments

Speaking on Khan, Irani said, "If these comments were made outside, police would have arrested him," adding, "You cannot misbehave with a woman and get away with it by just dramatizing it."

Women MPs across all party lines have come together to condemn Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan’s sexist statements in Lok Sabha yesterday. The repeat offender had caused an uproar in the Parliament after he spoke to BJP MP Rama Devi, acting chair of the Parliament, in an offensive manner yesterday.

Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said this was a blot on all legislators including men. She reminded the MPs that Lok Sabha has already passed the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill. She appealed to everyone, irrespective of their differences, to raise their voice in unison.


Speaking on Khan, Irani said, “If these comments were made outside, police would have arrested him,” adding, “You cannot misbehave with a woman and get away with it by just dramatizing it.”

BSP chief Mayawati said Khan’s statements were hurtful and asked him to apologize.


First-time TMC MP Mimi Chakraborty said that nobody can stand in the Parliament and tell a woman “look into my eyes and talk.”


Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “It is very encouraging to see members stand up, all wanting to speak in one voice, about what happened yesterday in the House – utterly condemnable conduct.”

She also raised a concern as to why people are politicizing this issue and hesitating to stand together against Khan’s comments. Amid constant disruption from several MPs, Sitharaman sought an exemplary action against Khan.


Notably, UPA chairperson and former Congress President Sonia Gandhi has chosen to remain silent on this topic.

Today, NCP’s Majeed Memon backed Khan stating the comment made by him was not disrespectful and should be seen as something said in appreciation. Akhilesha Yadav had also said in Lok Sabha yesterday that it was poetry and there was nothing wrong in the comment.

 

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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