Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav on Friday said there was “a lot of anger and hatred in society that can be countered only with love”. Giving a call to “rise above religion and caste”, he said some people call him ‘casteist’ but “had I been casteist, I would not have married a Catholic Christian”.
Speaking at a function of Patna Women’s College where he shared dais with BJP Patna Saheb MP and former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Tejashwi said: “We have to rise above religion and caste… it is the Constitution that runs the country. No religion tells us to fight. Today, there is tension, anger and poison… it can be countered only with love.”
Calling Ravi Shankar Prasad his “guardian”, Tejashwi asked the BJP leader to pursue with Centre the demand for central university status to Patna University. “Let me repeat the request CM Nitish Kumar has already made to PM Narendra Modi — please get Patna University the status of a central university. Patna Women’s College wants you [Ravi Shankar] to get it done. After all, you first met your wife at this college,” he said.
Shuffling his speech between English and Hindi, Tejashwi recalled how the women’s college had played a crucial role in making his father Lalu Prasad president of Patna University Students’ Union. “Patna Women’s College has been playing a crucial role in empowering women. We would send top 100 students to foreign countries for further studies,” he said, adding the Bihar government has earmarked 16 per cent of its budget for education sector.
“We are on course to creating 10-lakh jobs…three lakh in education sector alone. Heath department, too, will give 1.6 lakh jobs,” said the deputy CM.
“Our government has given 33 per cent reservation to women in government jobs. We are happy that we top in the county with 29 per cent of our police personnel being women. We intend to increase it further,” said Tejashwi, adding that the RJD had been giving fair representation to women.
He said time has come to change the prevailing patriarchal system in society.