Patna: In what is likely to further embarrass Bihar's ruling Janata Dal (U), its leader and state's Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has now courted another controversy by questioning the morality of those women whose husbands have been working outside the state for several years.
"Everyone knows what these women do as their husbands remain outside after marriage," Manjhi was quoted as saying by the media on Friday.
As per reports, the Bihar Chief Minister made this remark while attending a function at Jhajhwa Pakdi village in Gopalganj district on Wednesday. During his interaction with the people there, Manjhi also expressed hope that the migration of workers from villages of Bihar to other states would stop with the launch of several government-sponsored programmes.
Manjhi had recently triggered a controversy by dubbing all those who belong to the upper castes as “foreigners”, which also evoked sharp reactions from within his own party and outside. Ironically, Manjhi stood firm on what he said about the upper cases despite facing severe criticism from several quarters. Manjhi yesterday said that what he said was based on historical facts. "I'm firm on my statement," he told reporters, adding, "I didn't say anything wrong."
The ruling JD-U has completely distanced itself from Manjhi's controversial remarks and its central JD(U) leadership has also reportedly asked Manjhi to desist from making such objectionable remarks. With Manjhi crossing all limits, his latest observation on Bihar women could invite fireworks from the JD(U) top brass, especially Nitish Kumar.
JD(U) national secretary general KC Tyagi yesterday hinted that his party has taken strong exception to Manjhi's remarks and may initiate disciplinary action against him. "Manjhi was made the CM to carry on development works in Bihar on the road map set by former CM Nitish Kumar," Tyagi was quoted as saying.
"He was not asked to rewrite Indian history. It's not his job. His statements are damaging the party image. He is crossing the limits," Tyagi added. JD-U legislator Anant Singh, who belongs to the upper caste Bhumihar community, described Manjhi as "mad" for his remarks and said that he should be "admitted to a mental hospital".
Meanwhile, two court cases have been filed against Bihar Chief Minister for his controversial remark that “upper castes were foreigners” and Dalits and tribals were indigenous people of the country.
A case was filed against Manjhi for his alleged remarks against upper castes in Bettiah, district headquarters of West Champaran. Sanjay Kumar Mishra, a resident of Purani Gudri, filed a complaint against Manjhi in the court of chief judicial magistrate in Bettiah on Thursday. The court has fixed December 10 for hearing the case.
Another case was filed against Manjhi in Rosera in Samastipur district by Vijay Mishra, a local Congress leader. He filed the case against Manjhi in Rosera civil court on Thursday.