New Delhi: Former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju, Wednesday, explained why he wanted Bihar Chief Nitish Kumar as the next Prime Minister and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as Deputy PM.
It may be noted that the ex-Press Council of India chairman in the past has criticised Janata Dal (United) president and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief.
“In my opinion the next Prime Minister of India should be Nitish Kumar, with Arvind Kejriwal as his Deputy Prime Minister,” Katju had said on Monday.
Katju today posted a blog to explain his stand on Kumar and Kejriwal.
Here's what he said:
Nitish and Kejriwal
Some people have asked me why I have now praised Arvind Kejriwal when I had often criticized him in the past.
It is true that earlier I had criticized him because I did not like some things he did e.g. allotting Rs. 536 crores in the Delhi budget for propaganda, the odd even scheme ( which has not reduced pollution ) etc.
But no one is perfect. We are all a combination of good and bad points.
What many persons have been telling me is about the good things Kejriwal has done for Delhi :
(1) He has setup mohalla clinics which provide free medicines and medical care for the poor people of Delhi. This was very much needed since the poor people are often too poor to afford medical care.
(2) He has provided free water to those who consume not more than 20,000 litres per month, and has reduced by half the electricity bills. This is a great relief to the common man.
(3) He has got abolished the fee hike in educational institutions, e.g. Delhi Public School. This again is a great relief, as many people could not afford to pay the hiked fees
(4) Businessmen in Delhi are also happy by the reduction of VAT from 12% to 7%, and his strong objection to hike in taxes on jewelry shops etc.
My perception is that Kejriwal is personally honest and intends to do good to the people of Delhi. But he is new in politics and so lacks experience. That is why I suggested him for the post of Deputy Prime Minister, and not Prime Minister However, he will get experience and maturity with passage of time..
He must choose his advisers better ( at present many are only sycophants ).
Many people have criticized me for suggesting Nitish Kumar as the next Prime Minister. I have followed Nitish Kumar's career carefully. He had earlier made some mistakes, for which I had criticized him. But now he seems to have overcome those errors. I have not heard anything against his personal integrity. He is mature and experienced, qualities which Kejriwal needs to develop.
Some people have no doubt criticized Nitish for allying with Lalu Yadav, but in politics one has sometimes to make compromises..This is not a perfect world.
I have also a good opinion of Naveen Patnaik.
It is true that I am no one to appoint Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers. But as a citizen surely I have a right to present my view.