Bihar's Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh on Saturday apologised for pushing an elderly woman in Bhagalpur district when she went up to him to ask for a job, a day after he vehemently denied the allegation.
On Friday, Singh had denied pushing Akelo Devi during a function in Bhagalpur on Thursday, saying: "It is a media-created story. Nothing like this has happened."
But following a hue and cry over the incident after television channels beamed it, Singh apologised on Saturday. "I apologise for anything that hurt her. It was not my intention to ill-treat her and misbehave with her," Singh told IANS over telephone.
He downplayed the incident, saying: "In my political career of over three decades, I never insulted a woman, how can I push her."
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has directed the chief secretary to give a job to her son and ensure payment of all pending dues within a week.
Akelo Devi's arm was reportedly fractured from the push Singh gave her when she approached him for a job on compassionate grounds during a function in Bhagalpur, about 200 km from here.
Akelo Devi's husband, Radhe Singh, had died three years ago. He was employed as a driver with the state agriculture department.
It is not the first time that Singh's rough behaviour has made news.
Soon after the formation of the new government led by Nitish Kumar in November 2005, he reportedly abused and threatened a judicial magistrate at the gate of the state assembly.
Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress, Samata Party and Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist have called for action against Singh and demanded his resignation on moral grounds.