A FIR has been lodged against Samajwadi Party leader Mohd Azam Khan in Rampur for making objectionable remarks against actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections on a BJP ticket.
The Rampur police have booked Khan under Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code for insulting the modesty of a woman.
Khan, while addressing a rally in his constituency on Sunday, had reportedly said: "It took you 17 years to identify the real face of these people but I got to know in 17 days that they (‘yeh') wear khaki underwear."
Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav was present at the rally where he made the remarks.
Union Minister Sushma Swaraj, in a tweet, asked Samajwadi patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav to take note of the statement.
"Mulayam bhai, you are the patriarch of the Samajwadi Party. In Rampur, Draupadi's ‘cheer haran' is happening in front of you. Don't commit the mistake of staying silent like Bhishma Pitamah."
मुलायम भाई - आप पितामह हैं समाजवादी पार्टी के. आपके सामने रामपुर में द्रौपदी का चीर हरण हो रहा हैं. आप भीष्म की तरह मौन साधने की गलती मत करिये. @yadavakhilesh Smt.Jaya Bhaduri, Mrs.Dimple Yadav.pic.twitter.com/FNO5fM4Hkc— Chowkidar Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) April 15, 2019
The reference to Draupadi added fuel to the fire and Khan's supporters claimed that it was the union Minister who had insulted Jaya Prada by comparing her to the mythological character.
#WATCH Azam Khan when questioned by media in Vidisha,Madhya Pradesh says 'Aapke vaalid ki maut mein aaya tha'. He was in Vidisha for last rites of former Rajya Sabha MP Munawwar Salim who had passed away earlier today pic.twitter.com/d0BOIDhqNc— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 15, 2019
The National Commission of Women (NCW) has issued a notice to Azam Khan.
Citing news reports, the NCW said that the alleged remarks made by him were "offensive, unethical and show disrespect towards the dignity of women".
Jaya Prada: 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? You think that I'll get scared & leave Rampur? But I won't leave pic.twitter.com/85EuDaoZd8— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 15, 2019
Jaya Prada on Azam Khan's remark:It isn't new for me,you might remember that I was a candidate from his party in'09 when no one supported me after he made comments against me.I'm a woman&I can't even repeat what he said.I don't know what I did to him that he is saying such things pic.twitter.com/KEKzFvlQbF— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 15, 2019
NCW Under Secretary Barnali Shome said the Commission strongly condemns such irresponsible and disparaging remarks.
Meanwhile, a visibly upset Jaya Prada said on Tuesday that Azam Khan should not be allowed to contest elections after making such remarks.
"He should not be allowed to contest the elections because if this man wins, what will happen to democracy? There will be no place for women in society. Where will we go? Should I die? Will you be satisfied then? You think that I will get scared and leave Rampur but I will not leave," she said.
Union Minister Smriti Irani on Samajwadi Party leader #AzamKhan's remark: "Derogatory comments were being made on a woman and SP leaders were sitting silently. I urge them that politics has its own place and respect for women in India has its own" (ANI) pic.twitter.com/wL8XUjaljV— NDTV (@ndtv) April 15, 2019
Mohd Azam Khan, on the other hand, denied having taken the name of Jaya Prada while making the statement.
"I used the word ‘inhe' and ‘uske' and not even once did I take her name. One particular channel did mischief and added the lady's name. I have the original recording and I am willing to face any court on the matter. The media should also behave responsibly while reporting facts," he said on phone.
Latest by #AzamKhan -- कलेक्टर फ्लेक्टर से मत डरयो। जूते साफ कराउंगा अल्लाह ने चाहा तो।— Raj Shekhar Jha (@rajshekharTOI) April 15, 2019
.. And we wondered why UP was so lawless all these years. Good that these people are on leash now. All they can do is talk now. pic.twitter.com/3Y3gdmsWSk
Meanwhile, Azam Khan stoked a fresh controversy on Monday when he asked people not to be afraid of officials.
"Do not be afraid of Collectors. You know that our alliance is with Mayawati. When we come to power I will make these Collectors clean her footwear," he said at an election meeting.
"No matter how many laws you make, we will only follow Islam and Sharia".— Chowkidar Geetika Swami (@SwamiGeetika) April 15, 2019
Nothing surprising to see once again the misogynist Azam Khan insult Jaya Prada who has no respect for the Indian constitution and women at all. It's time for us to vote him out.#MondayMotivation #AzamKhan pic.twitter.com/mZNh3HrvTm