Press Council chief Katju reacts sharply to Jaitely criticism

Press Council chairman Markandey Katju, under attack from the Bharatiya Janata Party for questioning Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's democratic credentials, today accused BJP leader Arun Jaitley of twisting his words to make "reckless" allegations against him.

Katju, a retired Supreme Court judge, said Jaitley should take "sanyas" (total retirement) from politics.

Sticking to his remarks on Modi, the BJP's most likely prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 elections, Katju said, ''Arun Jaitley has demanded my resignation; I demand Mr Arun Jaitley's resignation."

In an opinion piece in The Hindu newspaper published on Sunday, Katju wrote, "There is still a mystery of what happened in Godhra" and that he found it hard to believe that ''Modi had no hand in 2002", referring to the post-Godhra riots.

Referring to Jaitley's subsequent comments, Katju said today, "He has made reckless remarks against me, called me a megalomaniac, and all kinds of most derogatory language he has used. It was most unbefitting of a person of his stature.

''So in fact he should resign and take 'sanyas'. He is not fit to be in politics," he told reporters in New Delhi after the BJP demanded his sacking for his "political" remarks.