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Panellists feel that leaders making derogatory remarks against women should be removed

Loose comments against rival candidates are marking poll rallies. On the one hand, the Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice to Congress president Rahul Gandhi over his remarks against Prime Minsiter Modi over the Rafale verdict, and on the other hand,Samajwadi Party candidate Azam Khan made derogatory remarks against his BJP rival Jaya Prada in Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur constituency.APN’s popular debate Mudda discussed the issue. Anchorperson Vandana posed the questions to panellists, including the Congress’s Ajay Arora, BJP’s Shadab Shams, SP’s Vinay Kumar Singh, women’s activists Maya Singh and Manisha Gurav, and APN consultant Govind Pant Raju.

Vinay Kumar said: “We have to see what needs to be done. EC has to take action. Maneka Gandhi and Sakshi Maharaj have also made offensive remarks in the past. BJP is used to making such remarks. Priyanka Gandhi has been called ‘puppy’ by the BJP.”

Ajay Arora said: “Respect to women is respect to the nation. We have always believed in that. Irrespective of Jaya Prada’s party, we stand by her. It is not correct to be making such remarks against her. But the BJP is no better. PM Modi has called Sonia Gandhi a ‘Jersey cow’, some other BJP leader observed that Priyanka has started wearing saris now that she is going to polls.”

Sadab Shams said: “Azam Khan has been making controversial, uncultured and low level remarks. That is objectionable.”

Maya Singh said: “We know that these leaders, irrespective of their parties, when caught off-guard, weave a web of lies. Such comments reflect poorly on their parties.”

Vandana wanted to know if Azam Khan should be banned from politics. Raju said: “Indeed it is a very poor and ugly remark. Now legal action is pending on this. Socially, such leaders should be boycotted. People’s boycott will be the best response to such leaders. In 2009 too, Azam Khan made similar remarks against Jaya Prada. This is not the first time Azam Khan has been caught making such comments. He should be removed from the party as soon as possible.”

CB Pandey, legal expert said: “FIR has been lodged, so legal proceedings will be started. Such comments have violated the lady’s modesty. Can EC do something? The fact is that EC has no power to disqualify Azam Khan. Indeed, such politicians should not be allowed to contest. Party leadership should be taking strict action against such leaders. The ball is in the court of Akhilesh Yadav. But I don’t know if he will eventually be taking such action that is expected from him.”

Vinay Kumar Singh said: “No doubt such remarks against women will not be tolerated. But politics is no longer clean. Also look at the comments made by Modi, Amit Shah and Maneka Gandhi. Our party respects women. Let’s see what the courts decide, our party shall also look into this.”

Shadab Shams said: “Not once has the SP representative apologised for the said remarks, this is shameful.”

Maya Singh said: “I would like Akhilesh to take strict action. I am hopeful as such an act will benefit the party. People don’t want to see such leaders in parliament.”

Arora said: “I criticise such comments. BJP leaders have made derogatory remarks against Congress leaders as well.”

Shadab Shams said: “I would like to say one thing. Congress representative is saying PM Modi has referred to Sonia Gandhi as a cow. See, cow is revered like the mother. So that’s not objectionable.”

Raju said: “All parties should stand united when it comes to objectionable remarks against women.”

Vinay Kumar Singh said: “I would like to reiterate that SP is not the kind of party that tolerates objectionable remarks against women.”

Shams said: “It is shameful that no SP leader has made an official statement on this issue.”

Manisha Gurav said: “When Jaya Prada was in SP, Azam Khan would call her his sister. Now he is making derogatory remarks against her now because she is in the rival party. That’s not right.”

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