Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday defended party leader Azam Khan who has been facing severe criticism for his indecent remarks against BJP leader Jaya Prada.
“He was talking about someone else. We are Samajwadis, we never use foul language for women,” the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said.
Meanwhile, Zee News quoted Yadav saying that the “media has goofed up in this matter and is showing something else.”
Akhilesh Yadav’s remarks came hours after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath condemned Khan’s below-the-belt remark, saying it indicated the leader's "mean mindset" and "shamed" BSP chief for their silence over it.
"The mean and indecent remark against Jaya Prada reflects the mean mindset and personality of Azam Khan," the Uttar Pradesh chief minister said in tweet. "The silence of Akhilesh Yadav over it is shameful indeed," said Adityanath.
After examining the remarks made at an election rally on Sunday by Khan, who has often stoked controversies with his speeches, the Election Commission on Monday night imposed a nationwide ban on him from campaigning for 72 hours, beginning Tuesday.
During the last Lok Sabha elections in 2014, the EC had imposed a ban on Khan from campaigning in Uttar Pradesh for his provocative speeches and had also lodged an FIR against him.
Khan, however, remained defiant and said he did not name any person in his speech and if anyone proves that he had taken any name or maligned anyone then he would not contest the polls.
Without naming the actor, Khan had told the election rally in Rampur "... You got represented (by her) for 10 years. People of Rampur, people of Uttar Pradesh and people of India, it took you 17 years to understand her reality. But, I could recognize it in 17 days that she wears a khaki underwear."
Jaya Prada had represented Rampur twice in Lok Sabha after winning in 2004 and 2009 as a Samajwadi Party leader. Later she was expelled from the party, along with Amar Singh, following differences with Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Last month she joined BJP and has been nominated as the saffron party's candidate against Khan from Rampur, which goes to polls on April 23.
Khan and some other SP leaders sought to suggest that Khan's comments were targeted at Singh, who is considered her mentor in UP politics.
As the remarks drew a sharp criticism, with the BJP launching a scathing attack on him and other SP leaders including the party chief Akhilesh Yadav who was allegedly himself present at the rally, the police lodged an FIR against Khan.