The level of the political blame game in Indian elections has never been civil, but with Azam Khan's 'Khaki Underwear' remark it just hit a new low. Addressing a public rally on Saturday, the Samajwadi Party leader said: "People of Rampur, people of Uttar Pradesh and people of India, it took you 17 years to understand her reality. But I could recognise it in 17 days that she wears khaki underwear."
BJP claimed the remark was against the actress Jaya Prada, who is contesting against him from Rampur Lok Sabha constituency. But Khan claimed that he never took any name and it was directed at "a person in Delhi who is unwell, who had said, 'I came with 150 rifles and I would have shot Azam if I had seen him'."
Unfortunately, it is not the first time that the Samajwadi Party leader has made objectionable statements which command a strict action against him. Take a look a the few recent ones:
1) Khaki underwear
Probably one of the worst comments made by Azam Khan till date is his 'Khaki underwear' jibe.
2) Will make collector wipe my shoes
"Do not be afraid of the collector (District Magistrate). He is just a salaried employee. Have you seen how these salaried employees wipe shoes of Mayawati with their handkerchiefs, soon I will make them wipe my shoes." This statement by Azam Khan comes from a viral video, which was reportedly recorded two days ago during a small rally in a UP village.
3) Naachne Wali
"If we start engaging dancers in verbal battles than who will be ever doing politics (Naachne Wali ke main muh lagenge toh siyasat kaise karenge)". This pearl of wisdom came from Azam Khan last year. He was hitting back at Jaya Prada after she said the character of Sultan Alauddin Khilji in film "Padmaavat" reminded her of Azam Khan. "Though I call Azam Khan my brother, the way he tried to take revenge on me in various ways...whenever I watched Khilji (in ' Padmaavat ' movie), the character reminded me of him," the former Rampur MP told reporters on the sidelines of a programme.
4) Yogi a murderer, Kalyan Singh a criminal
Addressing a rally in Tanda region earlier this month, Azam Khan said that people like Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh who are occupying "constitutional posts are criminals". While he called Yogi a murderer, he called Kalyan Singh a criminal, who was convicted by the Supreme Court for a day. Referring to Adityanath, Khan said, "You are the so-called flag-bearer of Dharma and the priest of Gorakhnath Temple, but you are also a murderer of a Yadav policeman." He further said that people "sitting on constitutional chairs are all criminals".
5) Bureaucrats sent to create chaos in Rampur, cause riots
Azam Khan has shown a long-standing disdain for bureaucrats in his constituency. Apart from time to time verbal battle with the officers, he also leaves no chance to criticise them on public platforms. Recently, he crossed the limit and accused the district and city officers of trying to cause riots in Rampur. Addressing party workers at SP office, he claimed that four senior officers were sent to the area with an agenda and that they want to spill blood on the streets of Rampur. A case was filed against Azam Khan for the statement.
That's it for 2019. But here are some of his old remarks which created furore.
6) RSS volunteers are 'homosexuals'
Azam Khan had kicked up a storm in December 2015 after he was quoted as saying, "many RSS leaders are unmarried because they are homosexuals". Khan made the remarks after being told of Union finance minister Arun Jaitley's comment that the 2014 judgement on gay sex should be 'reconsidered' by the Supreme Court.
7) Secret tunnel between Narendra Modi and Smriti Irani's bungalow
Azam Khan claimed there was a secret tunnel between Prime Minister Narendra Modi's residence at 7 Lok Manya Tilak Marg (Race Course Road at the time) and Union Minister Smriti Irani's. The SP leader made this claim in an exclusive interview given to the WikiLeaks4India. When asked why people had problems with Irani's bungalow being adjacent to the PM's, Khan said, "I'll tell you a secret... There is a tunnel between Modi and Irani’s bungalow. It is very confidential. After the terrorist attack on the parliament security arrangements were made for the PM. Secret tunnels were made between PM's residence and the nearby bungalow. If I further open my mouth, PM will be nude!"
8) Muslims are victims of 'saffron India': Azam Khan
In an apparent attack on the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre, Azam Khan had in October 2015 alleged that Muslims 'are not the citizens of democratic India but the victims of saffron India'. Khan's comment came in the wake of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar's statement that 'Muslims need to give up beef to live in India'.
9) 'God's wrath killed Rajiv, Sanjay Gandhi'
Azam Khan told a gathering at Bijnor town in April 2014 that the untimely deaths of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and his brother Sanjay Gandhi were "acts of Allah". Khan said that both Rahul Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi had committed "serious crimes" and were "punished by Allah" and which is why they met brutal deaths. Addressing an election rally, Khan said that Sanjay Gandhi was responsible for mass and forcible sterlisation during the emergency rule of his mother, former prime minister Indira Gandhi. He accused former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi of incurring the "wrath of gods" as he had presided over the opening of the Babri mosque to Hindus for prayers.
10) If you rake up shameful matter (rape), how will you face the society?
"Agar aap badnami ko itni shohrat dengi, toh zamane ko apni shakl kaise dikhayengi? (If you rake up such a shameful matter, how will you have a face to live in the society?)," Azam Khan told this to a rape victim in 2015, who was trying petition the urban development minister on the slow pace of police investigation in her case.