- BJP spokesperson Chandra Mohan condemned Azam Khan's comments
- Azam Khan sparring with Jaya Prada ever since she joined BJP
- She won Rampur a Samajwadi Party ticket in the 2004 and 2009
Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan is heard talking about "khaki underwear" in an appalling rant while campaigning in Uttar Pradesh's Rampur against actress-turned-politician Jaya Prada, a former party colleague who is now his BJP rival.
"Many allegations were made against me by the current BJP candidate. I had to swear by my dead mother that they are false. I am not a coward. If I said it, I would have accepted it in front of you. I want to ask you, should one stoop so low in politics? This person who has sucked the blood of Rampur for 10 years -- I had led that person to Rampur by the finger. I familiarised the person with the streets of Rampur. I didn't let anyone touch the person or even use filthy language. You made the person your representative for 10 years. But the difference between us, O people of Rampur, O people of Shahbad, O people of India, is that you took 17 years to recognise the person, and I realised in just 17 days that the underwear the person wears is khaki," the Samajwadi Party leader said at a rally in Uttar Pradesh's Rampur, in the presence of party chief Akhilesh Yadav.
Khaki is identified as the colour of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the BJP.
BJP spokesperson Chandra Mohan condemned Azam Khan's comments. "This is simply disgusting and embarrassing. The level of politics cannot fall any further. This is the real face of Azam Khan and his so-called socialist party, wherein women are put down in this manner. But Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati should also comment on such disgusting comments being made against Jaya Prada," he said.
Azam Khan has been sparring with Jaya Prada ever since she joined the BJP on March 26. She had won from Rampur on a Samajwadi Party ticket in the 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections, but was shunted out in 2010 over allegations of anti-party activities.
Firoz Khan, another Samajwadi Party leader, had also made misogynistic remarks against her in a video that emerged recently. It allegedly showed him as saying that Jaya Prada would enthral the people of Rampur with "ghungaroos and thumkas", and the evenings in Rampur "will become colourful" this election season. While his comment was criticised by many on social media, the Uttar Pradesh police launched an investigation into the incident.
Jaya Prada broke down at a public rally last week, saying that Azam Khan has also referred to her by a similar term. "Azam Khan sahab, I called you my brother, but you wished ill of me in the name of calling me your sister. Do our brothers look at us as a dancer? That is why I wanted to leave Rampur," she was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. The actor-turned-politician also alleged that she had left Rampur because detractors in the Samajwadi Party tried attacking her with acid.
National Commission of Women chief Rekha Sharma termed Azam Khan's remark as "disgraceful". "#AazamKhan is always abusive and disrespectful towards women. @ncw will take suo moto action and send a notice to him. Will request #ElectionCommission to bar him from contesting elections," she tweeted.