Patna:  Miffed by the controversy revolving around the word ‘Dalit’, Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar said that the word ‘Mahadalit’ has been conferred recognition by the National Advisory Council (NAC) headed by United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi.

Favouring the use of the word - Dalit, he said “If changing the word only can do good for Dalits, then I will be the first to do this.”
Addressing a function organised by Mahadalit cell of Janta Dal (United) to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr Bheem Rao Ambedkar, Kumar said “While determining the definition of Poor for Food Security Law, NAC has approved all those Below Poverty Line (BPL) as poor who come under Mahadalit category.”

He added, “How many times opposition will swoon, when I had included some of the marginalized dalits in the Mahadalit category, some people came with strong objection.” By making the statement, Kumar took an indirect swipe at Rastriya Lok Dal (RLD) and and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leaders.

Chief Minister said, “In this regard, cases were filed in the court. However court also accepted that there is no wrong, doing some good for extreme poor dalits without any deduction in those facilities provided to dalits.” It is worth mentioning that National Commission for Scheduled Castes had placed a ban on the use of word ‘Dalit’, saying that the word is nowhere mentioned in constitution.

While speaking on the occasion, Kumar also announced to increase the honorarium of Tola Sewak of Mahadalit Tola from Rs.2000 to 3000 per month. He made the announcement for providing residence in rehabilitation centers and educational centers.

(JPN/Bureau)