Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday withdrew his “demeaning” remarks on Bihar, which triggered protests in Parliament by MPs from the state who demanded an apology from him. “Let me clarify that I have no intention to insult either Bihar or the people of Bihar. If it has hurt anyone’s sentiment, I immediately withdraw that statement,” the minister said in Rajya Sabha today.
On Tuesday while RJD member Manoj Jha was speaking on inflation in the Upper House, the union minister Goyal had said “Inka bas chale toh desh ko Bihar hi bana de” (if he had his way he would turn the entire country into Bihar). Jha has written to Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, the Rajya Sabha chairman, demanding an apology from the minister.
Jha said that Goyal’s comments are “representative of the contemptuous and condescending attitude of the Government of India towards Bihar”. “Is the statement made by Mr Piyush Goyal also representative of the contemptuous and condescending attitude of the Government of India toward Bihar? Because it is deeply problematic if the Government singles out one state and terms it a failure,” the letter reads. “Bihar has been long ignored by governments at the centre and Biharis have always been treated as second-class citizens. To overcome the long-lived prejudices against our state, Bihar needs national concern and sympathy and not sheer insensitivity towards our situation.” He further urged the BJP leader to “ponder and reflect” the “sneering tone” he had used to speak about Bihar. “Therefore, I demand that Mr Piyush Goyal should immediately make an apology to all the people of Bihar.”
RJD-JD(U) MPs on Thursday also staged a protest in front of the Gandhi statue in Parliament over the remark made by the Union Minister and the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha. The MPs also demand his apology over the same.