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Jun 20, 2007 at 11:58am IST

Minister 'pushes' woman| Impact

New Delhi/Patna: A poor woman, her arm in a cast, goes to a minister begging a job for her son. The minister act of kindness: pushing her away in front of a crowd.

Akelo Devi, a widow, was pleading with Bihar Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh to give her son a job when he pushed her away and was furious with her.

Singh was visiting the Rajendra Agriculture College in Sabaur near Bhagalapur when Devi approached him and pleaded him to give his husband’s job to his son on compassionate grounds. Devi says her husband was a driver at the college.

“I went to him for a job. But he pushed me. My kids were dying of hunger,” said Devi.

A video footage shows a furious Singh pushing Devi away but he claimed he was keeping aside her son who he claims was blocking his way.

"Nothing that took place there can be construed as unfortunate or an insult to the woman. In fact, I did not push the woman but a boy who accompanied her egged her on repeatedly to wangle an assurance from me," Singh said.

Singh said Devi approached him with an application claiming she had not received the dues owed by the college to her late husband and sought a job for her son.

"On going through the document I found that her late husband had a temporary job and thus his dependents were not entitled to employment on compassionate grounds," he said.

“I did not push; see the footage on other channels which shows that I was only trying to remove her from my way. I was trying to keep away a boy who kept bringing the woman to me repeatedly. I had heard her once. The boy was blocking my way and I had to proceed to my car,” Singh told CNN-IBN.

“I have heard her request and have forwarded it to the concerned persons. I respect all women immensely. “If you think that woman and the media will be satisfied will an apology then I do say I’m sorry,” said Singh.

Premchand Mishra, Congress spokesperson in Bihar, said Singh’s action proved the “kind of morals” Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Cabinet had.

“The treatment meted out to an elderly, poor woman who had a fractured arm being pushed to the ground by the member of Nitish Kumar’s cabinet shows the kind of morals they have. It exemplifies the so-called good governance of Nitish Kumar. I think the minister must be sacked from the cabinet. His behavior was rowdy and unlawful. This kind of behaviour is not expected from a minister,” said Mishra.

<table width="248" border="0"> <tr> <td><div align="center"><img src="http://www.ibnlive.com/pix/sitepix/06_2007/narendra_bihar_woman248.jpg" width="248" height="178" border="1"></div></td> </tr> <tr> <td class='Gtext10 lineheight12'> <div align="left">TOLD NO: Akelo Devi says she was just begging for a job for her son.</div></td> </tr> </table>

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