Govt says all is well but oppn keeps powder dry | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt says all is well but oppn keeps powder dry

delhi Updated: Oct 01, 2011 02:01 IST
HT Correspondents

A day after finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and home minister P Chidambaram patched up, the government on Friday went on an overdrive to demonstrate that all was well.

"There was no tiff so there was no question of it being resolved."

So much so that Mukherjee and Chidambaram walked together into the room where the group of ministers (GoM) was to meet on corruption and chatted over coffee during the hour-long meeting. The two even left the meeting together.

Later at a media briefing, Chidambaram evaded all questions relating to the 2G controversy which arose from the finance ministry's note on the 2G spectrum allocation scam sent to the prime minister's office.

But an unsparing opposition tried to chip away at the government's defence.

The BJP said the 2G probe should cover the Prime Minister as well if evidence kept mounting, while the CPI(M) wanted Chidambaram to resign immediately.

The only minister to speak on the controversy yet again was law minister Salman Khurshid.

"I had been maintaining that there is no crisis. But you (the media) claimed there was one… I was right and you were wrong...there was no tiff so there is no question of it being resolved."

Eyewitnesses told HT that there was no visible strain between Mukherjee and Chidambaram, who attended three meetings together.

Their body language suggested that the two have left the 2G controversy behind.

Though the government portrayed a picture of having heaved a sigh of relief with one of the most serious controversies faced by the UPA 2 having been resolved, there are signs that a political war over the 2G scam is brewing.

"The Prime Minister's role may also have to be formally probed if evidence keeps mounting," BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad, quoted the party president Nitin Gadkari as having said at the BJP national executive meeting.

CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said Chidambaram could not escape the responsibility of the 2G scam.

"It is not the work of any single officer or a ministry. Therefore, P Chidambaram has to take responsibility for his action. We demand that he resign from the union cabinet," Karat said.