Katju more Congress than Congress: Jaitley

A war of words broke out on Sunday between Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and Press Council of India chairperson Markandey Katju over their contrarian views on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.

While Jaitley described Katju as "more Congress than the Congress party" and demanded that he either "quit" or be "sacked", Katju alleged that the Leader of Opposition in the RS was "twisting facts", and should "resign from politics and take up sanyas".

"His attacks on non-Congress governments, whether in West Bengal, Bihar or Gujarat, seem more in the nature of thanks-giving to those who provided him with a post retirement job...I am yet to read a comment from him which prefers meritocracy over dynasty as an instrument of leadership creation. Obviously, such a comment would embarrass those who desire to legitimise India as a Dynastic Democracy," Jaitley alleged.

Katju rejected the charges pointing out his remarks against Congress-ruled states.

The spat comes in the backdrop of a PCI fact-finding report that sought to suggest that media freedom was curtailed under Nitish and in a signed article in a national English daily Katju criticised Modi's claims of governance.

"When confronted with favourable comments by large sections of domestic and international community praising the change of polity in Bihar and the emergence of development as the centre stage agenda of politics, Justice Katju chooses to target Nitish Kumar and the Bihar government for lack of press freedom," Jaitley said about Katju adding, "He looks at Gujarat with a jaundiced eye." Modi tweeted "Jaitleyji's article demolishing lies spread about Gujarat".

Jaitley also took a veiled dig at the retired Supreme Court judge for taking a post-retirement job. "Retired judges must remember that the rental for occupying a Lutyen's bungalow post-retirement has to be political neutrality not political participation," he said.

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