Not directed at Jaya: Akhilesh defends Azam Khan's 'underwear' remark
A day after senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan sparked a row by insulting his Rampur opponent Jaya Prada, party chief Akhilesh Yadav said the comment wasn't meant for her. At a rally in Uttar Pradesh's Moradabad, Akhilesh said Samajwadi workers never comment on women or girls. Earlier, Khan too defended his indefensible remark by blaming media. Here's what went down.
We don't use offensive language against women and daughters: Akhilesh
Standing by his party man, Akhilesh said, "Azam Khan had said some people have been wearing RSS clothes, he said this about someone else. We are Samajwadi (socialist) people, we don't use offensive language against women and daughters." Notably, when Khan made the comment, Akhilesh was present on stage. Aides-turned-rivals Khan and Jaya would lock horns in Rampur, which votes on April 23.
Looking at what Khan said exactly
In an obvious hint towards Jaya, Khan said he brought 'the person' to Rampur. He added many allegations were leveled against him and he swore on his deceased mother to prove they were false. Khan said he judged in just 17 days that 'the person wore khaki underwear'. Khaki is used to refer to RSS, BJP's parent body. To recall, Jaya joined BJP recently.
Khan was booked and NCW sent a notice as well
As the deplorable comments snowballed into a controversy, an FIR was lodged against Khan under IPC Section 509. National Commission for Women (NCW) also issued a notice to him. Even, BJP President Amit Shah slammed Khan and said he insulted crores of women. Separately, Jaya fumed and asked if her death would satisfy Khan. She said such a man shouldn't win elections.
Jaya called Khan a repeat offender
"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," Jaya said.
Meanwhile, Mulayam's choti bahu said Khan's comments were disrespectful
While Akhilesh defended Khan, another member of his family berated the senior leader. Aparna Yadav, the younger daughter-in-law of Mulayam, said she respected Khan a lot. "But whatever he said was uncalled for and disrespectful to anyone, be it a political rival or a competitor in elections," Aparna, who contested 2017 UP assembly polls on an SP ticket, said.
EC barred Khan from campaigning for 72 hours
Taking cognizance of the remarks, Election Commission barred Khan from campaigning for 72 hours, starting 10 AM, April 16. The top-polling body also punished Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, banning her for 48 hours. To recall, Maneka had told Muslim voters last week that she might not work for them if they don't vote for her. She was addressing a gathering in Sultanpur.