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If Nitish was wrong, change NCERT books too: JD(U) ministers on women's education remark

Patna: Ministers belonging to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) on Thursday reached the state legislature armed with copies of NCERT books to defend their leader who is in the eye of a storm over use of crudely graphic language in both Houses.

A day after Kumar apologized in assembly and legislative council, and also in front of journalists, ministers Leshi Singh, Sheela Mandal and Ashok Chaudhary seemed to have decided that they have had enough.

Singh, who vehemently denies having “hung her head in shame”, according to the BJP, upon hearing the CM’s words inside the legislative council on Tuesday, told reporters “It is all a diversionary tactics of the opposition party which is rattled by our leader’s historic moves like caste survey and a hike in quotas for SCs, STs and the backward classes”.

She said “our leader had shown magnanimity by apologizing. But, clearly, the BJP is working on the agenda to defame him. So we shall now take them head on”.

Inside the Vidhan Parishad, when the proceedings began, BJP MLCs were on their feet, demanding resignation of the CM, accusing him of bringing disrepute to the state.

Ashok Choudhary waved Class 12 text books, in English as well as Hindi, pointing to specific pages which “say the same thing that our leader had spoken of”.

“I submit these books before the House. If members of the opposition are so convinced that our leader’s speech was scandalous, they being the party in power at the Centre, should get these books changed,” said Choudhary.

However, the BJP members continued to create a ruckus. One of them rose to say “we have become an object of ridicule far and wide. Even an American singer has condemned Nitish Kumar”.

The allusion was to Mary Millben, an African-American, who came out with a message on X, saying “I support Prime Minister Narendra Modi and follow India so closely.”

She further claimed that India was “facing a defining moment” in Bihar “where the value of women is being challenged” and that the “BJP should empower a woman to lead the state”.

As pandemonium continued, Chairman Devesh Chandra Thakur adjourned proceedings of the Vidhan Parishad till 1 pm and, with no let up in the ruckus when the House reassembled, again put off further business till 2.30 pm.

(Published 09 November 2023, 10:44 IST)

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