Jaitley demands Katju's resignation
BJP leader Arun Jaitley yesterday asked Press Council chairman Markandey Katju to quit, saying a person holding the post must be impartial, and drew a strong reaction from the former apex court judge who charged with him with distorting facts.
The BJP leader made his demand after accusing Katju of attacking non-Congress governments in Bihar, Gujarat and West Bengal on the basis of “his political preferences”.
In an article on the BJP website, Jaitley said Katju’s attacks “seem more in the nature of thanks-giving to those who provided him with a post-retirement job”. The leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said Katju had over the past week released a draft report on behalf of the Press Council of India (PCI) alleging that the media in Bihar was not independent.
He followed it up with an article in an English daily attacking the Gujarat government and Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Justice Katju retorted that Jaitley was talking “nonsense and rubbish” and stooping to personal attacks.
Countering Jaitley’s argument of targeting non-Congress chief ministers, Katju said he had written a letter to Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan in November last year strongly condemning the arrest of two girls from Palghar town in the state for criticising on Facebook the state bandh following Shiv Sena supremo’s death.
He said he had also written to Congress leader Virbhadra Singh, now chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, over his remarks to a cameraman during campaign in the state assembly polls.