NCW writes to Bihar speaker seeking strong action against CM Nitish for his remarks on women

Terming Nitish's remarks as extreme disrespect to women, NCW said it strongly condemned the use of derogatory and vulgar statements made by persons holding responsible positions.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar speaks with the media during the Winter session of the State Assembly, in Patna, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023. (Photo | PTI)
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar speaks with the media during the Winter session of the State Assembly, in Patna, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023. (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: The NCW has demanded strong action from the Bihar assembly speaker against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over his remarks in the Assembly on the importance of women's education to control the population and demanded his apology.

The Bihar chief minister, while emphasising the importance of education among women to control the population, put forward a vivid description in the state assembly of how an educated woman can "restrain" her husband during sexual intercourse.

In a letter to Bihar assembly speaker Awadh Bihari Choudhary, the National Commission for Women (NCW) said it strongly condemns and protests the use of such derogatory and vulgar statements made by persons holding responsible positions which shows extreme disrespect to women.

"Therefore, in view of the above, I urge for strong action against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his said statement must be expunged from the records," the NCW said in the letter.

In a post on X on Tuesday, the NCW said it "vehemently condemns the recent statements made by Kumar in the Vidhan Sabha."

"Such remarks are not only regressive but also egregiously insensitive to women's rights and choices. Bihar's chief minister should issue an apology to women across the country for these deeply offensive remarks," NCW said on X.

The commission's chairperson Rekha Sharma demanded an unequivocal apology from the Bihar chief minister. "On behalf of every woman in this country, as the chairperson of the NCW, I demand an immediate and unequivocal apology from Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar," she said.

"His crass remarks in the Vidhan Sabha are an affront to the dignity and respect that every woman deserves," she said on X.

Sharma said 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," she said in the post.

Sena (UBT) leader hits out an NCW chief for 'selective action'

The NCW chief also tagged other prominent female leaders, including Priyanka Chaturvedi of the Shiv Sena (UBT), Priyanka Gandhi Vadra of the Congress and Atishi of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), urging them to condemn Kumar's remarks and demand an apology.

"It will be good if the champions of the women's cause @priyankac19 @priyankagandhi @BDUTT @AtishiAAP and their friend join in to condemn and demand apology from @NitishKumar," Sharma posted.

Chaturvedi, in response, said selective silence and selective action are doing a huge disservice to Sharma's chair as NCW chief which is supposedly non-partisan.

"My dear biased, politically motivated Madam, I do unequivocally condemn any language used for women which is derogatory-irrespective of my politics, even if it comes from an ally. I am also certain that Chief Minister will revisit his usage of words and apologise. Unfortunately as far as I recall, whenever we expected you to stand up for women, you chose selective silence and selectively action- doing a huge disservice to your chair as NCW which is supposedly nonpartisan," the MP replied.

Sharma hit back at Chaturvedi.

"My not so Dear Priyanka ji do you remember how you showed your inability to do anything against a leader who was once upon a time in your party when I showed you all the proofs of his deeds? How unbiased you were...remember?" Sharma said, without naming anyone.

Chaturvedi asked Sharma to show responsibility to the chair rather than being a troll.

"What stopped you from taking action? In fact, I had told you if you have the proof etc there's nothing much I can do! Did I tie your hands, legs or seal your lips? You were in the position of power to do so! In fact you can still do it, but I know what's stopping you, your love for your party and its allies. Now that you wish to make it a slugfest, happy to help take it to conclusion!" she said on X.

"In the interest of transparency, I urge NCW chair @sharmarekha to bring the allegation against the person in the public domain and pursue it with relevant authorities. I could not do it then, I cannot do it now since it is only her who has the evidence. Show your responsibility to the chair and do the needful rather than being a troll," Chaturvedi added.

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