Piyush Goyal withdrew a controversial comment on Bihar that sparked protests and condemnation in parliament by opposition MPs.
In the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal) member Manoj Jha talked about inflation and the economy.
Piyush Goyal, the leader of the house, said “If he had his way, he would turn the whole country into Bihar.”
Mr Jha protested right away. “Sir, this is an insult to Bihar. Piyush ji, with folded hands, please don’t comment on Bihar,” he said.
MPs from Bihar said Mr Goyal was demeaning their state.
Mr Goyal clarified but didn’t apologize this morning. The minister said in Rajya Sabha, “I had no intention of insulting Bihar or its people. If I hurt anyone’s feelings, I will immediately withdraw the statement.”
MPs said it wasn’t enough. It’s not enough for Piyush Goyal to withdraw his statement. He has insulted the people of Bihar,” Mr Jha told NDTV.
He said if the minister didn’t apologize, it would prove Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoned such views.
RJD MPs and other Bihar lawmakers protested near Gandhi’s statue in parliament. We won’t tolerate insults to Bihar, Piyush Goyal yelled.
Tejashwi Yadav shared the clip of the exchange between his party MP and Mr Goyal yesterday in a post criticizing him. It’s disgusting how an arrogant and mindless Union Minister (vivekheen aur ahankari) insults Bihar and Biharis. He couldn’t say a word when Gujarat took projects worth 2.5 lakh crore from his state Maharashtra. It shows his strength,” Tejashwi Yadav tweeted.
Jha wrote to Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar asking him to delete the comment that was uncalled for and smacked of “elitism”.
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Mr Jha said Mr Goyal showed insensitivity to Bihar and that the people of Bihar are “always treated like second class citizens”. In his letter, Mr Jha wrote, “I request you to expunge his statement and take steps so that no other state is treated this way by the Union Government.”
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