Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday attacked Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar saying the Opposition bloc has insulted India before the world. Without naming the senior JD(U) leader, Modi mentioned no INDIA alliance leader objected to his derogatory comments.
“He has no shame…will they stoop so low,” the PM said while addressing a poll rally in Madhya Pradesh’s Guna. Earlier in the day Nitish apologised in both the the Bihar Assembly and the Coucil, as well as outside, for remarks made a day before on the importance of women’s education to control population growth.
The senior JD(U) leader came under attack of the BJP, which was a long-time ally of Nitish and is now seeking to criticise the Bihar CM who severed ties with the BJP two years ago and is now crucial in the formation of the Opposition bloc called INDIA.
“A politician who is acting as the flag bearer of the INDIA alliance and is playing several games to uproot the current Central Government, he said something unimaginable inside the Assembly in front of women politicians. He made obscene remarks. Koi sharm nahi hai unko (He has no shame). Not even a single leader of the INDIA alliance was ready to say even one word against this insult to women. Those who hold such views about women, can they do any good for you? Can they save your honour? What bad fortune has befallen our nation?” Modi said.
Protests were reported from several cities in Bihar and Delhi over the Bihar CM’s remark. When he arrived at the Assembly, Nitish faced embarrassment when he was greeted by several BJP MLAs carrying placards denouncing his utterances and demanding his resignation.
Delhi BJP activists staged a demonstration near Bihar Bhawan in Chanakyapuri.
“I have come to know today that something I said yesterday did not sit well with many people. My intent was to highlight my government’s emphasis on women’s empowerment and the role improved literacy among women plays in population control. However, if anybody’s sentiments have been hurt, I offer my apologies and take back my words,” said Nitish.
“Even if I meant no offence. I condemn myself (hum apni ninda karte hain),” the CM stated. On Tuesday, Nitish, who is considered pivotal in the formation of the INDIA bloc, vividly described in the Assembly how an educated woman can restrain her husband during sexual intercourse.
“The husband’s actions led to more births. However, with education, a woman knows how to restrain him... This is the reason the numbers (of births) are coming down,” he said in a rustic style. He pointed out that with education, the fertility rate, which was “earlier 4.3, has now come down to 2.9”.
Former chief minister Rabri Devi, an MLC from the RJD, said that she agreed what Nitish Kumar had said was not proper “but we should let bygones be bygones since he has apologised”.