Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday sought to rule out any scope of controversy in the recent exchange of correspondences between Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee over the state's law and order situation.
"Where is the controversy? The Union home minister has written a letter to the chief minister and he has given a reply to it," Mukherjee said.
He said that it was the constitutional duty of the Union home minister to seek information from the chief minister if there was any deterioration in law and order.
Chidambaram had discharged his constitutional responsibility by seeking such information from the chief minister. It is the responsibility of the chief minister too to respond to his queries.
"Where is the scope of controversy in it?" he wondered.
Asked to comment on the alleged 'bias' of the Centre on the issue, Mukherjee said there was no question of partiality. "The Union home minister has discharged his constitutional duty."
Asked how he felt about the use of word 'harmad' (hired killers) in the letter of the Union home minister, Mukherjee avoided a direct reply, saying, "Put the question to those who had used the word."
Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee had strongly resented the use of the word 'harmad' in Chidambaram's first letter to him, describing it as 'nasty'.
Chidambaram in his next correspondence asked the chief minister to give him an alternative word which Bhattacharjee refused.