During a motion to greet the newly elected Speaker of the Maharashtra state legislature, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator Jayant Patil made casteist remarks about the house’s Deputy Speaker. Jayant Patil noted during his address that the deputy speaker, Narhari Sitaram Zirwal, performed a good job even though he is a tribal. He said, “Despite being a tribal, Narhari Zirwal did a good job.”
Narhari Zirwal is a NCP MLA and he had been presiding over the sessions in assembly after previous speaker and Congress leader Nana Patole resigned to become the chief of Maharashtra Congress.
Following Patil’s remarks, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis objected to what he stated. Fadnavis said that Patil should not be using such a language for a respected member of the house and that such a language has no place in the house. Several members also objected to the same and requested that the remarks made by Patil be removed from the recordings of the proceedings of the house. Following the demands, the comment was expunged from the records of the assembly.
Later commenting on the issue, Jayant Patil said that as his remarks have been expunged from the records, the matter is over. He also said that he was only appreciating the work done by Narhari Zirwal, and his remarks were misinterpreted.
Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Legislative Council Gopichand Padalkar lambasted NCP State President Jayant Patil for his remarks. Talking to reporters, Padalkar said, “The party has gone from power but the attitude has not gone. When NCP leader Jayant Patil came to speak, he talked about Deputy Speaker Narhari Jirwal and said that he did a good job even coming from the tribal community. How does it matter if he belongs to a tribal community?”
Padalkar continued, saying, “Your hatred isn’t quite ready to leave. What’s in your stomach makes its way to your lips. Is it impossible for someone from a tribal, backward class, nomadic tribe, or nomadic poor caste to do anything here?”
It is worth noting that Jayant Patil was caught making a mockery of Hindu rituals in April of this year while sharing the podium with another politician, Amol Mitkari. Amol Mitkari, an MLC from the Sharad Pawar-led NCP, mocked Hindu practises such as Kanyadaan during weddings while speaking at the NCP Pariwar Samwad Yatra in Islampur, Sangli district, Maharashtra, on April 19, 2022. Jayant Patil was there in his company and burst out laughing when Amol Mitkari made the remarks.