Skip to main content
xYOU DESERVE INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL MEDIA. We want readers like you. Support independent critical media.

Bihar: Nitish Publicly Apologises for Controversial Remark; BJP Steps up Resignation Demand

‘I condemn myself, I take back my words and apologise,” the CM said amid protests by BJP MLAs.
Nitish Kumar

Image Courtesy: PTI

Patna: A day after the Nitish Kumar cabinet approved a hike in reservation and he apologised for his controversial remark on the role of women in population control, the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continued to demand his resignation on the ground that he used ‘vulgar and obscene”
language while addressing Assembly after placing socio-economic data of the Bihar caste survey on Tuesday.

While BJP and its allies are protesting against Kumar and have even said that he needed “treatment in a mental hospital”, Kumar’s major ally, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has come out in his defence.

Senior RJD leader and former chief minister Rabri Devi, who happens to be the first woman Chief Minister of Bihar, said that it may be a “slip of tongue or a mistake”, adding that Kumar did not intend to say what he did.

“If Kumar has apologised, he should be pardoned. There should not be much hue and cry over it, said Rabri, who is RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s wife and mother of Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav.

Sensing his mistake that provided a readymade issue to the BJP for now, Kumar on Wednesday publicly apologised before he entered the Assembly.

“I condemn myself, I take back my words and
apologise,” he said later amid protests by the slogan
shouting BJP MLAs.

Kumar said the focus of his statement in the Assembly that led to uproar was the need for girls’ education
to control population growth. “But if it hurts anyone, I was wrong,” he said, pointing out that in his address in the Assembly he was actually commenting on Bihar’s fertility rate dropping, which he attributed to education of girls.

BJP MLAs are also demanding an apology from Tejashwi Yadav for defending Kumar’s
remark. Yadav had said that Kumar’s statement should be seen as one on sex education.

The House was adjourned twice on the issue by Speaker Awadh Bihari Choudhary on Wednesday
as BJP MLAs disrupted the proceedings and created a ruckus.

However, BJP leaders including Union ministers, MPs, MLAs and former ministers have launched a direct
attack against Kumar for his remark despite his apology. The Leader of opposition Vijay Kumar Sinha remarked that Kumar was “not mentally stable” and should be treated. He went on to say that Kumar was “not fit” to hold a constitutional post and run Bihar. “We are demanding his resignation because a ritual of apology will not help him”, he told reporters.

However, it seems that BJP is uncomfortable after the caste survey report was released on October 2,2023 and the socio-economic details of the report were tabled in the Assembly on November 7, and  is targeting Kumar and Yadav.

Reservation Hiked to 75%

Hours after socio-economic data was presented in the House on Tuesday, the Bihar cabinet on Tuesday evening also approved a proposal to increase the reservation in government jobs and educational institutions from existing 50% to 75%, including 10%
for EWS (Economically Weaker Sections).

Kumar also informed the House that his government would bring a Bill on November 9 in the Assembly to
effect the reservation hike for SCs, STs, OBCs and EBCs in accordance with their share in the state’s
population, which was reflected in the last month released caste survey report.

According to the Bihar caste survey, there are 215 castes in Bihar, and the total population of the
state is 13.7 crore. This includes 36% Extreme Backward Classes (EBCs), 27% Other Backward Classes
(OBCs) (OBCs and EBCs together account for 63%), 19% Scheduled Castes (Dalits), and 1.68% Scheduled
Tribes (Adivasis).

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram