Congress and BJP spar over Katju controversial remarks

Justice (retd.) Markandey Katju. Photo: PTI

New Delhi, Feb 18 (PTI): Sparring between BJP and Congress today intensified over Markandey Katju’s controversial remarks against Narendra Modi and subsequently Arun Jaitley, as the opposition party demanded dismissal of the Press Council chairman.

Rejecting the BJP’s demand, AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh jumped 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 Gujarat Chief Minister Modi.

Upping the ante against the PCI chief, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha accused Katju of “crossing the red lines repeatedly” and not using the language befitting a former judge.

“Katju has been crossing the red lines repeatedly through his various press statements. What kind of judge Katju was I don’t know but I am convinced he 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. Secondly, he has no business interfering in politics. Press Council chairman is not going to determine who is going to be the Prime Minister of this country,” Sinha said.

Katju and Jaitley had yesterday engaged in a spat over the former’s article in newspaper which criticised Modi.

“This is not the part of his jurisdiction. What he has done is that he has confused his personal opinion, with that of the PCI chairman, therefore he does not deserve to hold the office of the PCI chairman,” Sinha said wondering “what does he mean by writing the most objectionable article against Narendra Modi.”

Digvijay Singh, however, dismissed Jaitley’s stringent criticism of Katju asking, “Is it because he owes his Rajya Sabha seat to Mr Narendra Modi, that Mr Arun Jaitley feels that he should defend Mr Narendra Modi? I think Mr Arun Jaitley should not comment like this, it is unbecoming of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha.”


  1. It is a sorry state of public discourse when the BJP tries to stifle the voice of Justice Katju by demanding that he be sacked. I think this form of political bullying must be confronted with severe public censure. Katju J is entitled to his opinion. If the BJP had an objection to the data put out by Katju J, it should have retaliated with verifiable data of its own. This hullabaloo is merely to stifle an inconvenient voice.But instead, now everyone has read Katju J’s article.


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