Uttar Pradesh assembly started its session on Wednesday on an uproarious and embarrassing note, when two legislators protesting delay of payments to cane farmers took off their shirts.
Rashtriya Lok Dal MLAs Sudesh Sharma and Virpal Rathi took off their kurtas soon after governor BL Joshi arrived to address a joint sitting of both Houses of the assembly, leaving women legislators red faced.
The stunned women MLAs covered their faces with scarves and sheets of paper and later decided to register their protest with the speaker.
The women MLAs were equally annoyed by parliamentary affairs minister Azam Khan's response.
Watch: Protesting MLAs should have also taken off their pants: Azam Khan
Instead of restraining the two MLAs, he said, "They were born nude, so they decided to strip on the floor of the house." He urged the governor to continue his speech and "pay no heed to their shameful act".
And when he spoke to reporters outside the assembly, his remarks appeared as indecent as the duo's act.
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"We got to see only half of their manhood. Had they stripped fully, we would have got to see how manly they are and they too would have earned some international publicity too," Khan said.
As the BSP and RLD legislators continued sloganeering, the governor's address was cut short - it lasted barely five minutes - and the House was adjourned.
RLD legislators go shirtless in UP assembly, protesting delay of payments to cane farmers. (ANI Photo)
Women legislators across the political spectrum decided to seek action against RLD MLAs, who remained unrepentant saying "we are not ashamed of taking off shirts because we did it for the people".
Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti termed the act as "black day" in the history of UP assembly.
"The MLAs should be humiliated publicly as they have debased the house. There are decent ways of showing protest," she said.
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