Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh is not out of the woods yet over his critical remarks about the Home Ministry's approach towards the Chinese companies.
Congress sources said the party leadership has for the time being kept on hold, a decision on the continuity of Ramesh in the Council of Ministers.
“Any decision on the issue is expected after the first anniversary bash of UPA II,” a senior leader said. Another leader also suggested the party might want more from the minister and might seek a public apology.
In Beijing last week, the minister had said the Home Ministry was being “alarmist” in its approach towards Chinese firms looking to enter India.
Though Ramesh has sought to buy peace with Chidambaram during a meeting on Wednesday, the Congress might seek a public apology from him as it had from general secretary Digvijay Singh after his remarks against Chidambaram. “He should apologise to the country and the party for his remarks,” said a Congress functionary.
Ramesh had to give an explanation to both Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, but apparently there was no mention of any resignation offer.
“There was no offer of resignation from the minister. He just explained his side of the story,” said a party functionary.
“These days nobody takes such a huge risk of offering to resign.” Government sources also rejected that there was a resignation offer. “The question of an offer to resign doesn’t arise. If the Congress high command wants somebody to resign, the person will simply be asked to put in the papers,” said a UPA functionary.
The government also indicated that the Ramesh chapter was still open. “I won’t comment on this. It is an issue between the PM, the UPA chairperson and Rameshji,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said.