Pranab, PC announce 2G truce
Flanked by three ministerial colleagues - including P Chidambaram - Pranab Mukherjee read out a carefully-worded statement on Thursday, distancing himself from the "inferences" in the notesent by his ministry to the PMO on the 2G scam. HT reports.BJP rejects Pranab's clarification | Sonia's appeal broke the logjam | Did Pranab offer to quit in NY?delhi Updated: Sep 30, 2011 09:43 IST
Flanked by three ministerial colleagues - including home minister P Chidambaram - finance minister Pranab Mukherjee read out a carefully-worded statement on Thursday evening, distancing himself from the "inferences" in the note sent by his ministry to the prime minister's office on the 2G spectrum scam.
The 12-line statement was aimed at putting the lid on his reported rift with Chidambaram.
The two senior members of the UPA cabinet had not come face-to-face during the past eight days when their perceived differences stayed on the headlines.
In a series of meetings with senior party and government leaders, Congress president Sonia Gandhi gave a clear and urgent message -find a way out without any more delay.
The party was keen that the coalition government fought the political and legal battles united. And was seen as such, too.
Hours later, Mukherjee emerged from his North Block office with Chidambaram, telecom minister Kapil Sibal and law minister Salman Khurshid to clear the air.
"Apart from the factual background, the paper contains certain inferences and interpretations which do not reflect my views," Mukherjee offered.
The outcome of a series of meetings on a day of fast-paced political developments was reflected in Chidambaram's first comment on the controversy: "As far as all of us in the government are concerned, the matter is closed."
In an attempt to counter the BJP attack, Mukherjee said the policy followed by the UPA government for the 2G spectrum allocation in 2007-08 "was the continuation of the policy adopted in October 2003 (during the NDA regime) and as reiterated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai)."
The BJP, however, dismissed the government's show of unity.
"This is not an internal matter between the Congress ministers or settlement of their bruised inter-se egos. It concerns loot of public revenue," said senior party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.
He reiterated BJP's demand for Chidambaram's resignation.
Thursday's developments appeared to have come as a relief for the embattled government with its two senior ministers showing flexibility in their respective positions and the Supreme Court listing the 2G spectrum case for next hearing on October 10.BJP rejects Pranab's clarification | Sonia's appeal broke the logjam | Did Pranab offer to quit in NY? | Read the note | The spectrum saga| War of words between BJP and Congress