"Draupadi Of Rampur Being Disrobed": Sushma Swaraj To Mulayam Yadav
Union Minister Sushma Swaraj made a strong protest against an appalling comment by Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan that was seen as aiming at Jaya Prada, who recently joined the BJP. Jaya Prada was a longtime colleague of Mr Khan, and she will fight against the Samajwadi heavyweight from Uttar Pradesh's Rampur Lok Sabha seat.
In a tweet, Ms Swaraj drew attention of Samajwadi patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav to the comment by Mr Khan that mentioned "khaki underwear".
"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. Ms Swaraj was equating Mr Khan's obscene comment seen as being directed against Jaya Prada to a part in the Mahabharata when Draupadi was made to undergo a humiliating trial.
Mr Khan made the controversial comments at a rally in Rampur, where Akhilesh Yadav was also present. "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," Mr Khan had said.
A First Information Report has been filed against Mr Khan.
The Samajwadi leader, who has been in the news in the past too for controversial comments, denied "insulting" anyone. He said he won't contest the national elections if it was proved that his comment was against his direct opponent in the BJP.
"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 news agency 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.
She and Amar Singh, with whom she has been closely associated, were expelled from the Samajwadi Party following differences with Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Jaya Prada had earlier claimed she was harassed by Azam Khan and received threats from him.
Uttar Pradesh will vote on Thursday in the second of the seven-phase general elections. Results will be out on May 23.
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