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Bihar AIMIM MLA says ‘Bharat’ instead of ‘Hindustan’ in oath

AIMIM Bihar president Akhtarul Iman.   | Photo Credit: Ranjeet Kumar

A controversy erupted on the first day of the five-day Bihar Assembly session on Monday when All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) legislator and State party president Akhtarul Iman took oath in Urdu and used the word “Bharat” instead of “Hindustan”, inviting sharp criticism from ruling party legislators.


As many as 190 newly elected members of the House took oath on Monday. Congress MLA from the Kadwa Assembly seat in Katihar district Shakeel Ahmad Khan took oath in Sanskrit. When AIMIM legislator from Amour constituency in Purnia district Akhtarul Iman rose to take oath in Urdu, he sought permission from Pro-tem Speaker Jitan Ram Manjhi to use the word “Bharat” in place of “Hindustan”. The Speaker granted him permission and Mr. Iman was administered oath in Urdu using the word “Bharat”.


“I had raised no objections in using the word Hindustan,” Mr. Iman said later in response to mediapersons’ queries. “It was just a suggestion that whenever we read the preamble to the Constitution in whichever language, it mentions the word Bharat. Since we’re taking oath in the name of the Constitution, I sought permission from the Chair to use the same word. But, let me be clear here, I have no problem at all with the word Hindustan.”


However, BJP MLA from Chhatapur Assembly constituency in Supaul district, Neeraj Singh Babloo, launched an attack against the AIMIM legislator. “Those who have a problem with uttering Hindustan, should go to Pakistan,” he said. MLA of the ruling alliance partner JD(U) from Bahadurpur seat in Darbhanga district, Madan Sahni, said, “Hindustan is a commonly used word but some people create unnecessary controversy in a bid to appear different”.

190 members take oath


The two Deputy Chief Ministers Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi were the first to be administered oath while others such as Vijay Choudhury, Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Amarendra Pratap Singh, Rampreet Paswan, Sheela Kumari followed. Of the total 243 legislators, as many as 190 took oath on Monday while, the rest 53 would do the same on Tuesday. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, a member of the State Legislative Council, was present in the House while, the new members were administering oath.


A new Speaker will be elected and Governor’s address to both Houses of the State legislature, followed by a debate on the thanksgiving motion to the Governor’s address along with the government’s reply on it are scheduled to be held in the House which would end on November 27. Senior State BJP leader and several time party MLA from Patna Sahib Constituency Nand Kishore Yadav is likely to be elected Speaker.


Meanwhile, the RJD-led mahagatbandhan (grand alliance) has decided to take on the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in the House over issues of law and order, unemployment and job creation. “Bihar has become the unemployment capital of the country. The public can’t wait anymore. If they [the NDA government] are unable to provide 19 lakh jobs in the first month, then we will join the public in protests across the State,” said RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.


Earlier, during poll campaign, BJP leaders had announced that after coming to power, 19 lakh jobs would be created for the unemployed youths of the State. Mr. Yadav alleged that several Ministers in the new Cabinet of Nitish Kumar were tainted and “like Mewalal Choudhury, they too should be asked to resign”. Mr. Choudhury, the new Education Minister, had to resign hours after he assumed charge over an alleged corruption case filed against him in the Sabour police station of Bhagalpur.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 6:06:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bihar-elections-aimim-mla-insists-hindustan-be-replaced-with-bharat-while-taking-oath/article33159743.ece

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