Bihar CM Nitish Kumar Apologises For Population Control Remark
New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has apologised for “derogatory” comments about the role of women’s education in population control made in the state Assembly on Tuesday afternoon. “I apologise and I take back my words. If my words were wrong, I apologise. If anyone got hurt, I take them back,” he said.
“(My words) were not intended to hurt anybody. I have always maintained education is necessary for population control. I have also stood for women empowerment and women’s development.”
The CM made the remarks while explaining why Bihar’s fertility rate has dropped from 4.2 to 2.9 per cent. However, the language was slammed as “shameful”, “disgusting” and “vulgar” by the BJP, and National Commission for Women chief Rekha Sharma who demanded an apology
The remarks were seen as crude attempts to put the onus of population control on women. Soon after the protests, he reacted, “Why are all of you making noise? I told you… you saw, the reporters asked me and I gave an explanation,” he shouted back.
Defending Nitish Kumar, his deputy, Tejaswi Yadav, claimed the Chief Minister was talking about sex education in schools.
Nitish Kumar’s remarks in the Assembly had sparked a heated exchange between the national women’s panel chief and Rajya Sabha member Priyanka Chaturvedi.
On behalf of every woman in this country, as the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women, I demand an immediate and unequivocal apology from the Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar. His crass remarks in the Vidhan Sabha are an affront to the dignity and respect that… https://t.co/xNom7jqnzq
— Rekha Sharma (@sharmarekha) November 7, 2023
The NCW chief also took a jab at women leaders from the Opposition, asking them to condemn Mr Kumar’s remarks. She tagged Congress’s Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Aam Aadmi Party’s Atishi and Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi.
“It will be good if the champions of the women’s cause @priyankac19 @priyankagandhi @BDUTT @AtishiAAP and their friend join in to condemn and demand apology from @NitishKumar,” Ms Sharma posted on X.
Chaturvedi hit back, accusing the women’s panel chief of choosing “selective silence” whenever she was expected to stand up for women. She also said she unequivocally condemns derogatory language for women “irrespective of my politics, even if it comes from an ally”. “I am also certain that Chief Minister will revisit his usage of words and apologise,” Chaturvedi added.