Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had to apologize with folded hands for the most part of the day on Wednesday for his indecent and shameless remarks about mothers and sisters of his state inside the assembly. There was nationwide outrage over the crude and brazen manner in which the Chief Minister described a sex act between a male and a female while linking the issue of female illiteracy with population growth. Nitish Kumar’s ally Congress refused to defend the Chief Minister, while other parties in the I.N.D.I.A alliance maintained a studied silence. AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said that he failed to understand how a Chief Minister can make the legislative assembly a theatre as if a soft porn film is being shown. Leaders of Nitish’s own party JD(U) and his main ally RJD tried their best to defend the Chief Minister, but from Delhi to Patna, BJP supporters came out on the streets and burnt Nitish’s effigy. There was pandemonium inside the Bihar assembly, where Nitish Kumar tendered his apology with folded hands and said he would like to condemn himself for his behaviour. The main Opposition BJP demanded his resignation. The issue grew out of proportion when Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing an election rally in Madhya Pradesh, without naming Nitish Kumar, said, “ A prominent leader of I.N.D.I alliance used indecent language shamelessly inside the assembly. Not a single I.N.D.I alliance leader is speaking out against this. How low will they stoop and bring shame to the country?” Normally Prime Minister Narendra Modi never uses harsh words against any leader occupying a constitutional post, but since the issue related to the dignity of women, and since Nitish had used crude language, Modi had to speak out. Even Modi’s diehard opponent Asaduddin Owaisi condemned Nitish Kumar. Owaisi said that nobody expected such an indecent remark from a Chief Minister who is an experienced leader. “Nitish neither kept the decorum of his post, nor of the assembly. Nor did he keep social manners in mind”, he said. Owaisi added, that making such a crude remark was unnecessary inside the assembly, and if Nitish wanted to link the population issue with women’s education, he could have done it in a decent manner. “Nitish Kumar will have to bear the consequences”, Owaisi remarked ominously. Nitish’s act overshadowed the debate on caste survey statistics in Bihar. Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said, Nitish has tendered his apology with ifs and buts, and his intention is still not sanguine. BJP legislators, mostly women, holding placards, shouted ‘Nitish go back’, as the Chief Minister entered the assembly. Inside the House, Nitish Kumar said, if anybody’s feelings have been hurt, he would like to tender an apology, but at the same time, he added, “Yesterday they were silent, but today, orders have come from the top, and that’s why they are creating hungama’. This led to more vociferous protests from BJP members. Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi advised Nitish to retire gracefully from politics. “He has made indecent remarks in the past too. Many a times he does not know what he is saying. He forgets the names of bureaucrats and ministers. Nitish is ageing, and he should hand over the CM post to somebody else”, Sushil Modi said. Those defending the crude manner in which Nitish made the remark are forwarding two arguments. First, the chief minister has himself apologized for his words and it should not be blown up as an issue. One must note that Nitish Kumar was forced to apologize by his well-wishers, not because his indecent remark had made 13 crore people of Bihar hang their heads in shame, but because his shameless remark has overshadowed the politically significant 75 per cent reservation move that was announced two days ago. This was a political move to corner Modi, but it was overshadowed by the crude remark made about sex life by the chief minister. The idea to corner Modi on the reservation issue in Bihar seemed to be on the verge of being obscured. This is the reason why Nitish was forced to apologize in public. In short, it is a political apology. Secondly, some of the people in the know told me today that Nitish should be forgiven because he appears to have lost his mental balance. He does not know what he is saying in public. My question is: if a leader loses his mental balance, should he continue in the post of Chief Minister? I think, Nitish should retire from active politics, and those who were speaking about making Nitish the future Prime Minister, should ponder what they are going to do with the country.
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