New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday evening joined the war of words between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley and Press Council of India Chairman Justice Markandey Katju. Hitting out at Katju, the Gujarat CM tweeted, "Justice Katju looks at Gujarat with a jaundiced eye. Jaitleyji's insightful article demolishing lies spread about Gujarat."
Justice Katju had, in an opinion piece in a national daily, criticised Modi and his policies. Katju had noted in the article that "there is still a mystery of what happened in Godhra". He had also said that he found it hard to believe "that Modi had no hand in 2002", referring to the post-Godhra riots.
The BJP slammed the article and Jaitley and others in the party accused Katju of selective targeting. "Should not a former judge who currently occupies a quasi judicial office as Chairman of the Press Council of India, either quit before actively participating in politics or be sacked? Retired judges must remember that the rental for occupying a Lutyen's bungalow post retirement has to be political neutrality, not political participation," Jaitley said, adding that the choice of Katju's subjects and targets was motivated by his political preferences.
Katju, however, rubbished Jaitley's charges and said he had also criticised Congress-ruled states as well. "Arun Jaitley is talking rubbish and I will not stoop down to his low level. He must resign from politics. He is twisting facts. I have criticised Congress-ruled states as well. I sent notices to the Maharashtra government when two girls were arrested for their post on Facebook," he said, adding that Jaitley must resign from politics as he was given to twisting facts.
BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad had earlier said, "We respect the Chairman of the Press Council of India and the former Supreme Court judge but the article written by Katju is not in good taste. He criticises the anti-Congress leadership of Bihar, West Bengal and has targeted Narendra Modi which is very unfortunate. Has Katju ever written an article about the scams under the leadership of the Congress?"