Launching a fresh attack on Press Council of India chairperson Markandey Katju, the BJP today said the former Supreme Court judge was expressing "unsolicited, bizarre" opinions against non-Congress ruled states and demanded that he should step down.
"Mr Katju as Chairperson of the Press Council of India, holds a statutory position, yet he is seemingly floating around the country like a vagabond and giving unsolicited bizarre opinions," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters.
He alleged that Katju is biased and demanded his resignation.
"Katju prefers slurring opposition ruled governments whether it is Mamata Banerjee ruled West Bengal, the
JDU-BJP ruled government in Bihar or Narendra Modi government in Gujarat," Rudy said.
Rudy maintained that the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley had made an apt statement that Katju was carrying the "brief of the Congress party" and asked him to resign.
"Mr Modi has also supported Jaitley's statement that Katju should quit," Rudi said.
Jaitley and Katju were yesterday locked in a bitter war of words over the latter's article critical of Modi with the two asking each other to resign.
Jaitley had dubbed Katju as "more Congress than the Congress" and said 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."
He also demanded that Katju resign from his post.
The Press Council of India Chief hit back at Jaitley accusing him of twisting facts and asked him to quit politics.
Jaitley, in a statement, said Katju's article in a newspaper against Modi read more like a personal tirade and wondered whether he was trying to hold a brief for those who have been convicted in the 2002 Godhra train burning incident.
Katju had said that "there is still a mystery of what happened in Godhra" and he found it hard to believe "that Modi had no hand in 2002", referring to the Gujarat riots.
Katju, in turn, accused Jaitley of twisting facts.
BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the party will raise the issue of "misuse" of office by the retired judge in the forthcoming session of Parliament.
"The way the Congress leaders and spokespersons have supported Katju further establishes our doubts that is working under an agenda. It is serious matter that he appears to be seen siding with the Congress and the Congress supporting him," he told reporters.
Claiming that PCI chief's impartiality is under a cloud after his recent statements, Prasad said "Congress does politics through some selected NGOs, the CBI, Income Tax and other agencies. Now will the Congress do politics through quasi-judicial bodies?"
Another BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the "distinct bias" in Katju's utterances has now been fully established.
"Katju is a government appointee and his salary and perks come from the government. Even the Press Council of India accounts are audited by the
CAG," Rudy said.
BJP maintained that since Katju holds a quasi-judicial posts he should restrict himself to the given mandate- to hear complaints and appeals- and not indulge in politics.
BJP insisted that it is an issue of "propriety" that Katju should not indulge in politics as long as he is holding a quasi-judicial post.
"Katju is free to voice his opinion. He can write and publish editorials and articles and make public speeches or even go to Jantar Mantar but before doing so he should relinquish his post. If Katju wants to do politics he should first resign," Rudy said.
The main opposition described Katju as a "freelancer" and a "loose canon".
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