Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday offered his apologies both inside and outside Bihar assembly for comments made a day before on the importance of women's education to control population growth which saw the opposition raising a storm of protest and forcing an adjournment of the house.
The Bihar Assembly on Wednesday was adjourned till 2 pm, soon after the proceedings started, as the opposition BJP kept demanding the resignation of Kumar.
The chief minister, who was present in the House, rose to offer his explanation and said "I have expressed my regret while talking to journalists outside the House. I am ready to do so again. If my words have caused any hurt, I condemn myself (main apni ninda karta hoon)".
The septuagenarian leader added "the context in which I had made the remarks must not be lost sight of. I have always been a strong votary of women's education and it was a eureka moment for me when I saw a direct correlation between education levels among women and fertility rate".
As soon as the House had assembled at 11 am, Leader of the Opposition Vijay Kumar Sinha rose in his seat alleging that Kumar had become a "mental" case, was unfit to govern the state and should resign.
The opposition members who remained unmoved by Kumar’s apology, stormed the well, raising slogans against the chief minister and demanding his resignation.
On Tuesday, Kumar had put forward a vivid description in the assembly of how an educated woman can restrain her husband during sexual intercourse.
"The husband's acts 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 had said in a rustic style.
Kumar had pointed out that with education the fertility rate which was “earlier 4.3, has now come down to 2.9”.
The opposition BJP charged Kumar with "bringing shame" to the state's women by speaking of the procreation process in detail.
The Speaker told the unruly opposition members "you have no right to demand the resignation of the chief minister who enjoys the confidence of the people. He has expressed regret for his utterances. Besides, we will look into the records and if anything in his speech was found to be unparliamentary, it will be expunged from the proceedings".
However, as the ruckus continued, the Speaker adjourned the House till lunch.
Meanwhile, women's wings of Left parties, which support the state's ruling 'Mahagathbandhan' government, came out with statements condemning the chief minister’s remarks.
CPI(M) affiliate AIDWA and CPI(ML) Liberation affiliated AIPWA came out with statements demanding an apology from the chief minister and claiming that the language used by the veteran leader and his "body language" was "vulgar" (obscene) and smacked of patriarchy.
The women's organizations also slammed the members of the House from the fair sex for "failure to raise objections on the floor of the House" and alleged that it showed "their sole concern is their own political career".