Nitish Kumar apologises following controversial statements on population control
New Delhi, November 08: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has issued an apology for comments made in the state Assembly regarding women's education and its role in population control. Kumar was explaining the reduction in Bihar's fertility rate from 4.2 to 2.9 per cent. However, the language he used was criticised as "shameful," "disgusting," and "vulgar" by the opposition BJP.
Rekha Sharma, the Chief of the National Commission for Women, had called for an apology from the Chief Minister.
In response to the growing controversy, Nitish Kumar faced protests in the Assembly, stating, "Why are all of you making noise? I told you... you saw, the reporters asked me, and I gave an explanation."
#WATCH | Opposition leaders protest inside Bihar Assembly over CM Nitish Kumar's derogatory words he used to explain the role of education and the role of women in population control. pic.twitter.com/TdOe7qEv9N — ANI (@ANI) November 8, 2023
In an attempt to clarify, Nitish Kumar was supported by his deputy, Tejashwi Yadav, who claimed that the Chief Minister was discussing sex education in schools. Yadav said, "Let me clarify something... whatever the Chief Minister said was about sex education. People become hesitant over this topic... but it is taught in schools. He said what needs to be done practically."
Despite this clarification, Nitish Kumar was criticized by the BJP, which labeled him a man "whose mind is infested with worms from B-grade adult films."
The Bihar Assembly experienced an uproar as the government introduced the caste survey report and approved a proposal to increase quotas for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, and Extremely Backward Classes from 50 percent to 65 percent. These revised quotas, combined with the central government's 10 percent for Economically Weaker Sections, surpass the 50 percent cap mandated by the Supreme Court in 1992.
The decision to revise quotas came after the caste report revealed that 36 percent of Bihar's population of 13.1 crore belonged to Extremely Backward Classes, while 27.1 percent were from Other Backward Classes. Additionally, 19.7 percent represented Scheduled Castes, 1.7 percent belonged to Scheduled Tribes, and the General Category accounted for 15.5 per cent.
- With inputs from agencies