The Press Council of India Chairman Markendya Katju today lashed out against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and heaped praise on Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Citing figures, the Press Council chairman said Gujarat's malnutrition rate was higher than that of poor countries like Somalia.
Katju described the so-called development in Gujarat as "phoney", since it had failed to help the common man in any way.
"There is no way in which the blot on Modi's name due to the 2002 Gujarat communal riots can be wiped out," he told reporters at a press conference.
Katju said Modi had made tall claims about development in Gujarat but pointed out that the living standards of the common people was still "abysmal".
Asked what he thought of 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 said in sharp contrast, there was no blot on Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivjraj Singh Chouhan's name.
The time may come when the people of Gujarat would themselves realise that the development about which Modi boasts a lot was of no use to them, he said.
He said, he met Chouhan two days ago and invited him to attend an 'mushaira' (Urdu poetry meet) and the chief minister promised that he would come for only 15 minutes.
Katju said when Chouhan came, he extended his stay to 50 minutes and appreciated Urdu poetry.
"I found Chouhan to be a polite and humble person," Katju said.
He said Chouhan also promised to do all that he can for the development of Urdu in Madhya Pradesh.