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Nitish's women remarks row: NCW chief Rekha Sharma, Priyanka Chaturvedi engage in war of words

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's comment on population control triggered a huge political outrage. NCW Rekha Sharma sought his apology and she also sought condemnation from some women politicians, including Priyanka Chaturvedi.

Raju Kumar Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 New Delhi Updated on: November 08, 2023 15:59 IST
Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi and NCW chief Rekha
Image Source : PTI Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi and NCW chief Rekha Sharma

National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma and Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi engaged in a war of words over Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's remarks on the importance of women's education to control the population.

The argument started on microblogging site X after Sharma tagged prominent female leaders, including Priyanka Chaturvedi, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Atishi, 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," the NCW posted on X. 

Sharma took to social media, demanding an immediate and clear apology from Kumar. She condemned his derogatory language and emphasized the need for accountability.

Why is there controversy on Kumar's statement?

Kumar, while emphasising the importance of education among women to control the population, narated vivid description in the Bihar Assembly on Tuesday of how an educated woman can restrain her husband during sexual intercourse. 

NCW chairperson seeks CM's apologise

NCW strongly criticised Kumar's statements, labelling them as regressive and profoundly insensitive to women's rights and choices. Sharma called for an apology from the chief minister, asserting that his offensive remarks affected women across the country.

However, Chief Minister Kumar apologised for his remarks on Wednesday.

Priyanka Chaturvedi hits back at Sharma

Responding Sharma's tweet, Chaturvedi hit back at her questioning her selective silence and selectively action saying she is doing a huge disservice to the 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 Chaturvedi said.

Sharma's reply to 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!" Chaturvedi 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,” she added.

In a latest tweet, Chaturvedi said now that the chief minister has apologised, she has asked the NCW chairperson to name the person against whom she has evidence and ask authorities in Maharashtra to take action. 

"Does she have the courage to go beyond her politics? I sincerely doubt it," she added.

"Again playing politics..I did that long back when he was in your party and still working on it. Remember when I told you to talk to your then CM and you showed your inability. Do something other than party hopping," Sharma replied.

(With PTI inputs)

Also read: Nitish Kumar on his bizarre Assembly remarks: 'I apologise and take back my words'

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