Former Bihar chief minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha leader Jitan Ram Manjhi on Sunday came out in support of Samajwadi Party (SP) MP Azam Khan, whose sexist remark on BJP parliamentarian Rama Devi has drawn widespread criticism from all quarters.
Majhi said that Khan's comment had been "misinterpreted", and the Rampur MP should apologise but not resign.
"When a brother and sister meet, they kiss. Does it equal sex? A mother kisses her son and the son kisses his mother. Is that sex? Azam Khan's statement is misinterpreted. So, he should apologize but not resign," Manjhi told news agency ANI.
#WATCH Hindustani Awam Morcha leader& ex Bihar CM Jitan Manjhi: When brother sister meet they kiss, is it equal to sex? Mother kisses son, son kisses mother,is it sex? Azam Khan's remark(on BJP's Rama Devi) is being misinterpreted. So he should apologize but not resign (27.7) pic.twitter.com/bOUzxbH9rX— ANI (@ANI) July 28, 2019
Khan's comment during the debate, which Rama Devi was presiding over, on the Triple Talaq Bill had led to an uproar in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
During the debate, Devi asked Khan to speak looking at the Chair and address the House through the presiding officer. Khan's response was, however, considered sexist by the treasury benches, triggering a strong objection.
The Rampur MP, in his defence, had said that Rama Devi was like a sister to him.
Despite several BJP MPs demanding Khan apoligise for his remark, he said he would resign if he had said anything unparliamentary.
Lok Sabha Speaker OM Birla has assured the House that he will make a decision shortly after consulting leaders of various parties.
SP chief and former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav had backed Khan, saying there was nothing objectionable in his comment.
On Saturday, Devi spoke to the media and said she had the power to face a man like Azam Khan.
(With inputs from ANI)