Union Minister Sushma Swaraj, condemning a disgusting comment by Samajwadi Party’s Rampur candidate Azam Khan allegedly against his BJP rival Jaya Prada, today urged the party’s Mulayam Singh Yadav “not to stay silent at the disrobing of the Draupadi of Rampur”. Azam Khan had, while attacking the actor-turned-politician at a rally on Sunday, said “…the underwear beneath is khaki.”
The comments were made in the presence of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav. In a tweet, Sushma Swaraj drew the attention of his father and Samajwadi patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav to Mr Khan’s outrageous comment.
“Mulayam bhai, you are the patriarch of the Samajwadi Party. The Draupadi of Rampur is being disrobed in front of you. Don’t make the mistake of staying silent like Bhishma,” the Foreign Minister tweeted, tagging Samajwadi chief Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav and party leader Jaya Bachchan, another actor-turned-politician. The minister’s analogy refers to an episode of the epic Mahabharata on the attempt to humiliate Pandava Queen Draupadi.
On Sunday, Azam Khan had said: “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, people of Rampur, people of Shahbad, 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.”
Azam Khan has been charged in a First Information Report and the National Commission for Women also says it will take action.
Jaya Prada said the Samajwadi Party leader’s attacks on her were “not new for me”. “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 told news agency ANI.
The Samajwadi leader, a repeat offender, has since backtracked, denying that he used the words for Jaya Prada and vowing to opt out of the polls if anyone proves that he did.
“I will not contest the polls if proven guilty…I haven’t named or insulted anyone and I know what I should say,” Mr Khan told ANI. “I was a nine-time MLA from Rampur and have been a minister. I know what to say.”
Jaya Prada joined the BJP last month. She had represented Rampur twice in the Lok Sabha – in 2004 and 2009 – as a member of the Samajwadi Party.
The 56-year-old actor joined politics in 1994 as a member of the Telugu Desam Party, which was headed by NT Rama Rao. But she left following differences with Chandrababu Naidu and joined the Samajwadi Party.
But she was expelled from the Samajwadi Party, along with another leader Amar Singh, following differences with Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Jaya Prada alleges she was harassed and abused by Azam Khan and received threats from him.
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