Nitish slams Katju, trashes PCI's fact finding report

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday slammed Press Council of India Chairman Markandey Katju for his 'unsubstantiated' remarks on curbs on press freedom in the state and trashed the PCI fact finding report.

"Katju has cross the lines behoving dignity of his constitutional post and attacked me without substance for muzzling freedom of press in Bihar," Kumar told the assembly.

NitishKumar-reuters

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Reuters

Kumar criticised Katju for his 'biased' and 'motivated' attack on him in 'brazen violation' of the dignity of the constitutional post that the retired Supreme Court judge held.

"I am particularly baffled at the PCI chief's remarks equating me with Ghananand, the last ruler of the Nanda dynasty, it is particularly objectionable as the comments were made to demean me," the angry chief minister said.

"Justice Katju simply did not show respect to the constitutional post or his distinguished family background by comparing me with with Ghananand, whose fall led to collapse of the Nanda dynasty," Kumar said.

"The incumbent PCI chief has no business to indulge in making biased, motivated and ill-tempered comments against other constitutional persons," Kumar said.

"Although Katju has tried to malign me by casting baseless aspersions to undermine my position and persona, I am not going to be rattled and will discharge my duties as per the mandate of the people," he said,

"Justice Katju has not elected my government, it is the people of Bihar who have elected us... the PCI chairman should be mindful of facts and must respect the democratic and constitutional institutions all the time," the chief minister said.

Kumar also trashed the PCI fact finding report as 'biased'.

It was compiled at the behest of a person who has charged the state government with muzzling the freedom of press and formed a team to probe the charges, he said.

The report was made public even before it could be ratified by the full panel of the PCI, Kumar added.

PTI