A ‘misogynistic’ comment made by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar while presiding in a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) meet in Patna has led to the concerned BJP woman MLA raise a complaint with the party leadership.
Nikki Hembrom, the BJP legislator of the state’s only Assembly constituency reserved for the Scheduled Tribes, quoted Nitish as saying at an NDA legislature party meeting in front of over 100 men: “You are so good looking, but your thoughts are opposite. Do you know the things I have done for the Scheduled Tribes? You do not visit your constituency.”'
Kumar uttered these words in front of more than 100 MLAs after Hembrom requested the Chief Minister to either lift the ban on the collection and storing of Mahua flowers or find some other source of livelihood for the impoverished tribals who depend on them.
As Nitish uttered these words, the other MLAs present in the room during the November 29 meeting broke into laughter, embarrassing the 44 years old Hembrom, who is an MLA from Katoria, even more.
Later, Hembrom raised this issue with her party leadership seeking redressal.
The ‘issue’ was, however, later resolved on 4 December with food and civil supplies minister Lasy Singh claiming Nikki ‘misunderstood’ the comment of Nitish Kumar who was like her guardian.
Rohini Acharya, daughter of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, attacked Kumar for her statement while tweeting that “Tales of his colourful life are common, in this age too ‘chacha’ is infamous’.
According to MLAs present in the meet, it took some time for Hembrom to regain her composure after Nitish’s statement. “Nitishji’s objectionable comments have put me in a state of shock. Such words will put any woman in the dock. We consider him the state’s chief and our guardian, but his words were not proper. They made me an object of fun and ridicule. People were laughing at me. This is a man’s world and a woman has to always strive and stay cautious to keep her dignity and family’s prestige intact,” Hembrom was quoted in the local media.
Hembrom complained to the top state leadership of the BJP, including the party’s state organisational general secretary Bhikhubhai Dalsaniya.
Hembrom, an associate professor of history at Ranchi University who is currently on leave without pay, was also a member of the Bihar women’s commission from 2017 to 2020.