Press Council of India chairman Markendya Katju on Sunday hit out at Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi challenging his claims of development in the state and saying its malnutrition rate was worse than Somalia.
Touching upon the 2002 post-Godhra riots, Mr Katju also said “there is no way in which the blot on Modi's name due to the 2002 Gujarat communal riots can be wiped out.” Speaking to reporters, Mr Katju said Mr Modi had made tall claims about development in Gujarat but pointed out that the living standards of the common people was still “abysmal”.
Terming Mr Modi's development claim in Gujarat as “phoney”, he cited figures to show that Gujarat's malnutrition rate was higher than that of poor countries like Somalia in Africa.
The time may come when the people of the state would themselves realise that the development about which Mr Modi boasts a lot was of no use to them, he said. On Mr Modi's third
successive win in Assembly elections, he said that everyone knows how polls are fought and won these days in the country.
He pointed out that in sharp contrast, there was no blot on another BJPruled state Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's name.
Mr Katju said that he met Mr Chouhan two days ago and invited him to attend an 'mushaira' (Urdu poetry meet) . “I found Chouhan to be a polite and humble person,” Mr Katju said adding Mr Chouhan also promised to do all that he can for the development of Urdu in Madhya Pradesh.