Nitish Kumar kicks up a row, apologises

Patna: A day after making bizarre remarks on the role of women’s education in population control in the Bihar Assembly, which received widespread condemnation, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday apologised and withdrew his statement.

“I apologise and I take back my words,” Kumar said to reporters after BJP legislators did not allow him to enter the legislative assembly.

On Tuesday, speaking on the floor of the Assembly, Nitish Kumar said women should be educated as it would enable them to avoid sexual intercourse from resulting in pregnancy.

Addressing the Winter Session of the Assembly during a debate on caste census yesterday, the Chief Minister made the remarks while underlining the need for girls’ education to check population growth.

Kumar in his address in the Assembly yesterday said that the fertility rate of the state, which was earlier at 4.3 per cent, has now dropped to 2.9 per cent per a report last year.

“If my words were wrong, then I apologise for that. If anyone got hurt by my words, I take them back,” Kumar said today while talking to reporters.

After Nitish Kumar made the highly derogatory remark in the Bihar Assembly, the National Commission of Women (NCW) condemned it as well and asked for an immediate apology from him.

While issuing a statement uploaded on X, NCW chief Rekha Sharma said: “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 every woman deserves. Such derogatory and cheap language used during his speech is a dark stain on our society. If a leader can make such comments so openly in a democracy, one can only imagine the horror the state must be enduring under his leadership. We stand firm against such behaviour and call for accountability.