Azam Khan booked for ‘khaki underpant’ comment against Jaya Prada, says ‘I didn’t do it’
Senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan has been booked for his derogatory remarks against Jaya Prada, the BJP leader and his rival in Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur parliamentary constituency.
Khan has also been asked by the National Commission for Women to explain his comments on Sunday, which were caught on camera, against the actor-turned-politician as the BJP and Congress sought action against him.
The veteran SP leader had stoked a controversy with an “underpant” jibe against Jaya Prada, who is fighting the Lok Sabha election 2019 from Rampur parliamentary constituency against him.
“I brought her (Jaya Prada) to Rampur. You are a witness that I did not allow anyone to touch her body. It took you 17 years to identify her real face but I got to know in 17 days that she wears khaki underpant,” Khan had said while addressing a campaign rally in Rampur on Sunday.
Known for his controversial comments in the past, the SP leader was referring to the colour associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP’s ideological mentor.
Watch - ‘He shouldn’t be allowed to contest elections’: Jaya Prada on Azam khan’s remark
On his part, Khan claimed on Monday he did not call anyone by their name and would withdraw his candidature from the ongoing Lok Sabha election if he is proven guilty.
“I will not contest the polls if proven guilty... I haven’t named or insulted anyone and I know what I should say. If anyone proves that I have named anyone and insulted anyone by name then I will step back from the elections,” Azam Khan told news agency ANI on his remarks.
“I was a nine-time MLA from Rampur and have been a minister. I know what to say,” he said following outrage and condemnation of his comments.
Khan said he made the remarks in the context of a “man” who had apparently said that “he brought 150 rifles with him and if he sees Azam Khan, he would shoot him”, ANI reported. Without naming who he was referring to Azam Khan said, “Now, it has been revealed that he has an RSS pant on his body. Shorts are worn by men.”
Khan also accused the media of misinterpreting his comments.
Jaya Prada reacted to Khan’s remarks against her and said he should not be allowed to contest the election.
“It isn’t new for me. You might remember that I was a candidate from his party in 2009 when no one supported me after he made comments against me. I’m a woman and I can’t even repeat what he said. I don’t know what I did to him that he is saying such things,” Jaya Prada was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
“He shouldn’t be allowed to contest elections. Because if this man wins, what will happen to democracy? There’ll be no place for women in society. Where will we go? Should I die, then you’ll be satisfied? Do you think I’ll get scared and leave Rampur? But I won’t leave,” she said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress have condemned Khan’s comments and sought action against him. The ruling party has demanded that the Election Commission should take cognisance of Khan’s “disgraceful and offensive” comments against Jaya Prada, who was twice elected MP from Rampur on Samajwadi Party ticket.
On Twitter, senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj asked SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav to respond on Khan’s comment against Jaya Prada. Sushma Swaraj referred to the scene from the epic Mahabharata in which Draupadi is disrobed by Kaurava prince Duryodhana after the Pandavas lost a bet to their usurping cousins as she appealed to Mulayam to speak up.
“Mulayam Bhai - You are the father figure of Samajwadi Party. In front of you, Draupadi is being disrobed in Rampur. Do not make the mistake of being silent like Bhishma@yadavakhilesh Smt. Jaya Bhaduri, Mrs.Dimple Yadav,” she tweeted in Hindi.
“Statement of #AzamKhan on #Jayaprada represents ugly and cheap standards. Such statements are derogatory for the health of a vibrant democracy. Hope that the ECI and @yadavakhilesh would take cognizance of the statement and ensure action against it,” Congress’ Abhishek Manu Singhvi also tweeted.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma said on Monday the panel will write to the Election Commission for strict action against Azam Khan for his objectionable remark.
“We are writing to the EC to take strict action against him because he has to learn a lesson now. It is high time, he has to stop this. Women are not sex objects. I think, women voters should vote against such people who are treating women in such a way,” she told ANI.
“He is always talking dirty about women and in this election, it is the second remark he made against a woman politician. The NCW has taken suo-motu cognisance and we are sending him notice,” Sharma said.
Polling in Rampur will be held in the third round on April 23 along with 115 other constituencies across 15 states. The votes will be counted on May 23.