Bihar CM keeps mum on ‘swastik’ issue

He says only the Assembly Speaker can comment on the matter

February 20, 2022 12:41 am | Updated 12:41 am IST

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. | Photo Credit: PTI

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has refused to comment on the controversy over the use of the ‘swastik’ symbol on the top of the pillar that is being built in front of the main gate of the Bihar Assembly to commemorate the centenary celebrations of the Bihar Vidhan Sabha building.

“The Speaker of the Bihar Legislative Assembly is the appropriate authority to react on this. This is not an issue at all,” said Mr. Kumar told reporters.

It may be recalled that main Opposition party in Bihar — the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) — has questioned the decision of the Nitish Kumar government to inscribe the ‘swastik’ mark on the proposed centenary pillar in the premises of the Assembly in place of the Ashok Chakra. RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav had said, “The use of swastika mark in place of Ashok Chakra on the centenary pillar is against the secular fabric of the country.”

The Bihar Chief Minister also told reporters that the Jharkhand government’s decision to withdraw Bhojpuri and Magahi from the list of regional languages of Dhanbad and Bokaro distrcits was “surprising”.

The Jharkhand government on Friday withdrew Bhojpuri and Maghi from the list of regional languages of Dhanbad and Bokaro districts after widespread protests.

‘Like brothers’

Mr. Kumar said, “this decision is very surprising. Do Bhojpuri and Magahi belong to just one State? Bhojpuri is spoken in U.P. too. If someone is doing this, I don’t think it is being done in the interest of the State. I don’t know why they have done so ?”

Bihar and Jharkhand are brothers, he said, adding that even though “Jharkhand was separated from us, we only have love for them.”

The Department of Personnel, Administrative Reforms and Rajbhasha withdrew the notification on Friday that allowed these two languages at the matriculation and intermediate-level for appearing in recruitment examinations of district-level posts, conducted by the Jharkhand State Staff Selection Commission.

People in Dhanbad and Bokaro districts have been agitating under the banner of the ‘Jharkhandi Bhasa Bachao Sangharsh Samiti’, stating that these languages were not widely spoken in the region.

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