Other States

Jharkhand, Bihar are brothers: Nitish

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said both Jharkhand and Bihar belong to the same family.

Mr. Kumar was reacting to his Jharkhand counterpart, Hemant Soren, who recently courted controversy by stating that the two regional languages spoken largely in Bihar — Bhojpuri and Magahi — “are borrowed languages and speakers of these languages are dominating persons”.

‘Highly objectionable’

The BJP, Mr. Kumar’s alliance partner, though, had called Mr. Soren’s comments “highly objectionable and aimed at dividing society”.

“These things should never be thought of. Bihar and Jharkhand are brothers, they belong to the same family. I don’t know why people say something like this. People of both States need not make comments about each other, Mr. Kumar said.

“Though Jharkhand was separated from us, we only have love for them,” he told presspersons after his weekly Janata ke durbar mein mukhyamantri (Chief Minister in the people’s court) programme got over.

Last week, Mr. Soren also told a private news channel that the “tribal society had fought for a separate State of Jharkhand because of its regional and tribal languages and not because of Bhojpuri or Magahi”. Later, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader and party spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya said his party “stands by what the Chief Minister has said”.

Prayer room controversy

Earlier, this month Mr Soren’s government had also hit headlines after allotting a separate room for offering namaz (prayer) for Muslim legislators in Jharkhand Assembly. The BJP legislators too, later, demanded space for a Hanuman temple and prayer room for other religions as well in the Assembly premises.

Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar in November 2000 and Mr. Soren’s JMM had played a key role in the movement for a separate State.

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 1:15:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/jharkhand-bihar-are-brothers-nitish/article36579541.ece

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