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Anti-Bihari remark triggers widespread protests

December 09, 2005 19:37 IST

Angry activists of the youth Congress and National Students Union of India burnt the effigy of Bharatiya Janata Party General Secretary Pramod Mahajan to protest his derogatory remarks against students from the state in Mumbai.

Mahajan had reportedly stated that Maharashtrians would not tolerate the 'dadagiri' (bullying behaviour) of Bihari students and warned them to maintain low profile or face consequences.

The Congress activists took out a march, shouted slogans against Mahajan and the BJP for threatening Bihari students in Mumbai and announced a state-wide agitation against the leader's remarks.

"We will take this issue to every nook and corner of the state to expose the double talk of a senior BJP leader like Mahajan" state Congress spokesperson Premchand Mishra said.

Mishra, who led the Youth Congress and NSUI activists, said that during last month's Bihar assembly polls, Mahajan was talking differently to mislead people in name of development but now he was talking against Biharis students living in Mumbai.

"We condemn his remarks as it hurts the sentiments of 8.3 crore Biharis and demand Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to seek an apology from Mahajan," he said.

Mahajan's reported remarks against Bihari students in Mumbai on Thursday evoked sharp reaction in state.

Lalu Prasad's Rashtriya Janata Dal also expressed shock over such remarks by a top BJP leader against Bihari students.

"It is shocking. We will not be silent over the issue but rather we will expose the BJP," RJD senior leader Shivanand Tiwari said.

Even the ruling Janata Dal (United), BJP's alliance partner also reacted against Mahajan's remarks.

"We would demand an apology from Mahajan before the people of Bihar," JD(U) General Secretary Upendra Kushwaha said.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also criticised Mahajan in New Delhi.

Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna