BJP slams Katju's 'unsolicited and bizarre' remarks on Narendra Modi

Markandey Katju

Intense sparring was witnessed today over Press Council Chairman Markandey Katju's comments against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, with BJP stepping up the demand for his removal while Congress came to his defence.

On his part, Katju accused Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley of making "reckless" allegations by twisting facts and said he should take "sanyas" from politics (renounce politics).

A day after Jaitley alleged that Katju was "more Congress than Congress", his party stepped up the attack, accusing him of "crossing the red lines repeatedly" and not using the language befitting a former judge.

BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said Katju was expressing "unsolicited, bizarre" opinions against non-Congress ruled states and demanded that he should step down.

Alleging that Katju is biased, Rudy said Jaitley had made an apt statement that the Press Council chief was carrying the "brief of the Congress party". He said Modi has also supported Jaitley's statement that Katju should quit.

Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said, "I am convinced he (Katju) does not deserve to be the chairman of an important body like the Press Council of India. He should be dismissed immediately. There is no point in asking for his resignation."

Wondering "what does he (Katju) mean by writing the most objectionable article against Narendra Modi", Sinha said the former Supreme Court judge has "no business interfering in politics" as he is "not going to determine who is going to be the Prime Minister of this country."

Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh came to Katju's defence, saying he had always been impartial and wondered whether Jaitley was reacting in this manner because he "owed" his Rajya Sabha seat to Modi.

"I think Mr Arun Jaitley should not comment like this. It is unbecoming of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha," Singh said on the criticism against Katju which triggered the war of words.

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