Welcoming the party directive asking leaders not to speak out of turn, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Thursday said he had not criticized Home Minister P. Chidambaram and he stood by his remarks.
"I have said what I wanted to say. I stand by it. The debate on Naxalism (Maoism) was going astray with them being called revolutionaries or terrorists," Digvijay Singh said in an interaction with mediapersons.
Referring to his article in April in which he had made comments on the home minister, Singh said that the thrust on socio-economic issues has been part of the Congress policy to tackle the Maoist problem.
The Congress leader, who is incharge of Uttar Pradesh, maintained that he had not said anything in the article which was outside "his area of responsibility".
"Whatever I say and do, I try to be as honest as possible in following the directions of the Congress party," Singh said in response to queries about the party's written directive. The AICC leader said he had made the remarks about Maoist threat as some parts of Uttar Pradesh were also affected by the problem.
Asked if the directive had been prompted by his defence of his newspaper article where he was seen to be critical of Chidambaram, Singh said he had not criticized the home minister.
"Why should Chidambaram be held responsible for law and order problem in Chhattisgarh," Singh said, adding that he had said that the buck stops at the chief minister's table.
Digvijay Singh refused to respond to Chidambaram's remarks in an interview published on Thursday that if somebody could do the job better, he would be the happiest person.
Referring to his announcement of not contesting any elections till 2013, Digvijay Singh said there was no question of his joining the government.
Describing Chidambaram as a competent minister, the Congress general secretary said the prime minister has reposed his faith in him.
"I think he (prime minister) has reposed confidence in Chidambaram's ability to lead the home ministry which, I think, is quite right," the AICC leader said.
Digvijay Singh in his article had called Chidambaram "rigid" and "intellectually arrogant" and said the anti-Maoist policy was police-centric and not addressing the root causes of the problem.
The AICC leader asserted on Thursday that he would continue to write articles whenever the need arises.
Maintaining that the party directive to speak to media only on areas of responsibility "was issued in the right spirit", Singh said every Congressmen should try to follow directives as honestly as possible.
"I faithfully follow directives of AICC and don't deviate from that," he said.